Divided Politics Over Clean Power Plan -- Mountain West Power Companies Go For Renewables Anyway

Mar 5, 2018

 

The federal Clean Power Plan is currently on hold due to various legal challenges. Not one of the Attorneys General from the Mountain West States has signed on to a brief by a coalition of states supporting the plan.

The Obama-era rule aimed to dramatically cut greenhouse gases by reducing emissions from power plants. But some power companies supplying the Mountain West are moving forward with clean power anyway.

Spencer Hall says the realities of producing power are dictated more by customer demand than the political fray. Hall is with Rocky Mountain Power, which serves Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah.

"The world has changed," Hall says. "And people want to live in a clean environment. They want their power to be produced in a sustainable way. So we're working on that and that won't change regardless of how the federal and state regulations go."

A spokesperson for Colorado Springs Utilities said they are also planning to use more renewable sources of energy moving forward as the Martin Drake coal-fired power plant is set to be phased out by 2035 at the latest.

The Trump administration is planning to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The EPA held a public hearing on the repeal in California last week. Another one is planned for Wyoming at the end of this month.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.