May 20, 2013 4:44 PM by Andy Koen

Farmers urge veto on renewable hike

CALHAN - Farmers and ranchers in Colorado are pressuring Governor John Hickenlooper to veto a renewable energy bill that doubles portfolio standards for rural electric co-operatives.

Senate Bill 13-252 would mandate the co-ops get at least 20 percent of the electricity from solar, wind and other renewable power sources by the year 2020. Under previous standards, the co-ops only had to get 10 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2020.

The accelerated timetable will likely force the non-profit co-ops to spend more on capital improvements. Those expenses will be directly passed on to rate payers like George Schubert, a sod farmer in Calhan.

Schubert uses electric pumps to draw out well water for his fields. He feels squeezed by both the drought and state lawmakers.

"It just looks like, to the farmers out here in eastern Colorado, it looks like maybe the people don't care 15 miles east of I-25 what really happens to this state," Schubert said.

Tonight on News 5 at 6:00 we'll hear from the sponsor of the bill, Senate president John Morse. We'll also hear from the Colorado Rural Electric Association about their efforts to persuade the governor.


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