Mar 30, 2010 7:29 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Senate gives initial approval to power plant bill

The Senate has given initial approval to a bill aimed at using natural gas to reduce Front Range emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Senate voted 20-13 to back the measure on Tuesday, clearing the way for a final vote Wednesday.

The measure is intended to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing its own emissions rules on Colorado. It's co-sponsored by Senate Republican leader Josh Penry, but some GOP senators objected to giving preferential treatment to gas and worried about the increased cost to consumers.

Xcel would have to give primary consideration to using more costly gas to generate energy. It could also consider retrofitting coal units with emissions controls. State regulators would have the final say on the plan.


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