Colorado

Mar 26, 2010 8:34 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Power plant bill affecting Pueblo clears another hurdle

A bill requiring Xcel Energy to reduce emissions at its Front Range coal-fired power plants has passed another vote at the state Capitol.

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources voted 5-2 to back the bill on Thursday, sending it to the appropriations committee for another vote. The bill requires that Xcel give primary consideration to replacing coal-fired units with those fired by natural gas. It can also consider retrofitting smokestacks with emissions controls.

Xcel says its final proposal could include a mix of both. State regulators would have to sign off on the plan and consider how much it would increase rates.

The coal industry says the bill could cost jobs in coal mines and power plants, including in Pueblo.

The natural gas industry and many environmentalists back it.

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