Public Service Company of Colorado responds to Cabin Creek charges

Just over an hour ago, we told you about a federal grand jury indictment leveled against Xcel Energy, Public Service Company of Colorado, RPI Coating and two individuals over an October 2007 incident at Cabin Creek Hydro Plant near Georgetown in which five workers died. Since then, Public Service Company of Colorado has issued a statement regarding this development. The first section features president and CEO Tim Taylor expressing sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives and reinforcing the firm's commitment to safety. It's left to Xcel general counsel Michael Connelly to get into messier matters. He's quoted as saying, "This was an accident -- a tragic accident. We reject any attempt to characterize the Cabin Creek events in any other way."

Read the entire statement by clicking "Continue."

Public Service Company of Colorado Responds to Cabin Creek Charges

"We at Public Service Company of Colorado extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those employees of RPI Coatings who perished in the accident, as well as to those who were injured," said Tim Taylor, president and CEO, Public Service Company of Colorado. "Since the accident, we have done what we can to help those families and individuals.

"Safety has always been a top priority and a core value at Public Service Company of Colorado. We have an extensive Safety organization, made up of experienced safety professionals who work hard to implement our numerous safety training programs and policies. We have a long and strong safety record," he said, "but safety is a job that is never done.

"We provide natural gas and electric service that is vital to our customers and communities, and there are inherent risks in some of the jobs that our employees and contractors perform," Taylor said. "Knowing that, we continually look for ways to improve our processes and to keep everyone safe on the job."

Michael Connelly, general counsel for Xcel Energy, stated: "The general public is familiar with the legal system, and people understand that accidents are treated differently from criminal acts. This was an accident -- a tragic accident. We reject any attempt to characterize the Cabin Creek events in any other way, and we look forward to the opportunity to present our case."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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