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Colorado air regulators backtrack on closing 3 coal plants

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Posted at 1:34 PM, Dec 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-20 15:35:00-05

DENVER (AP) — Colorado air regulators have backtracked on a plan to close three coal plants by 2029, a move that has left environmental groups disappointed.

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission made its unanimous decision Wednesday to reverse plans after lobbying from utility companies. Commissioner Jana Milford said the agency’s November decision had been made based on incomplete information.

The three plants that were to be closed by 2029 were the Craig Unit 3, the Platte River Power Authority’s Rawhide plant and the Ray D. Nixon Plant, the Colorado Sun reported. Many utility companies have pledged to close coal-powered plants by 2030, but that promise is not bound by law.

Matt Gerhart, an attorney for the Sierra Club, said the Wednesday reversal shows that some state leaders are too timid in combating coal-powered utility companies and climate change.

“It’s the wrong decision for Colorado,” Gerhart told Colorado Public Radio. “It means more air pollution, more asthma cases and more climate change.”