Denver Business Journal
Two nonprofit groups and a Morrison resident on Monday filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Colorado’s 30 percent renewable energy standard is unconstitutional.
The suit, filed in Denver’s U.S. District Court, claims Colorado’s renewable energy mandate discriminates against other energy resources that are “less costly, less polluting, safer and more reliable” both inside and outside the state. The interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t permit a state to impose burdens on the interstate market for electricity, lawsuit backers argue.
The suit says wind energy, in particular, costs more than traditional fuels and creates more pollution because coal or natural gas is needed to generate electricity when the wind doesn’t blow. Colorado voters first passed a renewable energy standard in 2004, calling for 10 percent of the electricity sold by Colorado’s two major investor-owned utilities, Xcel Energy Inc. and Black Hills Energy, to come from renewable resources by 2015.