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06-05-13 CO Corn disappointed with governor’s signing of SB252…

Posted by Brian Allmer on June 5, 2013

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*UPDATE* On Saturday, June 8th, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper amended the executive order – creating an advisory committee requested by these groups to include three ag seats – along with Ag Commissioner John Salazar.

The Colorado Corn Growers Association expressed disappointment after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed SB252 into law today.

The law forces rural electric cooperatives to double the use of renewable energy by 2020. The cost – estimated to be as much as $3 billion – will be passed on to rural electric customers.

“I am deeply disappointed that our governor would throw the residents of rural Colorado, who are the ones growing our food, under the bus,” said CCGA Public Policy Chair Rick Palkowitsh.

In May, Palkowitsh hand-delivered a letter to the governor that outlined several of the problems with the bill – and the process that created it, which did not include any agricultural organizations.

“We made our case,” Palkowitsh said. “We told him we, representing the end-users who will be affected by these increases, were never part of the negotiations. We said we support renewable energy and we want to be at the table to come up with a compromise to this bill that will benefit everyone.”

In the letter, Palkowitsh said that estimates from one CCGA grower was that this bill will add $96,000 to his costs over the next six years and increased meter charges would add another $200,000.

Beyond the lack of input from those directly affected by the bill, the fact that hydroelectricity was specifically declared as a non-renewable energy in the bill caused grave concern.

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The Colorado Corn Growers Association works on behalf of more than 4,000 corn producers through market development, communications, research, and education. See more at www.coloradocorn.com .

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