A recent article on www.enn.com focuses on new legislation in Colorado regarding clean energy. This past week governor Bill Ritter signed into law the Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act. The law requires Xcel Energy to cut nitrogen oxide emissions by "up to 80% from several Front Range coal plants by the end of 2017." The language used in the article did not seem concrete so I went to Governor Ritter's site but found that the article quoted the "up to 80%" verbatim.
Xcel will reach this goal by working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in order to create a plan to retrofit 900 megawatts of coal-fired capacity. The deadline for submitting a proposal is August 15th. The law will help Colorado keep regional haze legislation within the state rather then delegating it to the EPA. As a part of the federal Clean Air Act, Colorado must submit a plan addressing regional haze by 2011 or the EPA will be given authority to write it.
One interesting thing I noticed was that Xcel's chairman and CEO Dick Kelly actually supported this bill (House Bill 1365) and was present at the signing ceremony. This act is a step forward for Xcel, but also allows them to maintain autonomy over their emissions regulations.
Link to the article
Link to Governor Ritter's press release on HB 1365