Mar 29, 2010 8:42 AM by Associated Press

Backers of power plant bill rally at the Capitol

Backers of legislation requiring Xcel Energy to reduce emissions at some of its Front Range coal-fired power plants plan to rally at the Capitol on Monday.

Gov. Bill Ritter plans to join lawmakers, Xcel, natural gas companies and environmentalists for the event ahead of Senate debate on the bill.

It requires that Xcel give primary consideration to replacing coal-fired units with ones fired by natural gas although it can also consider retrofitting smokestacks with emissions controls.

The coal industry is fighting the proposal, saying it could lead to higher electric bills and lead to layoffs at coal mines and power plants.

Xcel says expected federal emissions rules could cause customer rates to rise 4 to 6 percent but that a comprehensive state plan could cost less.


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