Supreme Court will decide if EPA needed to consider costs of coal regulations

March 25, 2015
Photo: Coal power plant Littleton (iStock)
Steam and smoke rise on a cold day at a coal-fired power plant along the Platte River in Littleton, just outside Denver, Colorado.

The debate centers around mercury emissions from the plants—something Colorado has been reducing.

In 2010, Colorado became the first state to address the retirement of aging coal-fired power plants with the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act. It’s a move that was controversial with the state’s mining industry.

But it gained the support from two of the state’s largest utilities: Xcel and Black Hills Energy. The duo are currently in the process of eliminating 900 megawatts of coal-based power by switching to natural gas or renewable energy. The changes have translated into rate hikes.

This year, Xcel customers will see an average of a $1 increase per bill with $2 for Black Hills customers.

A decision from the court is expected by the end of June.

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