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Sauce for the Coal-Fired Goose?

Ah, let the season of petty politics begin. Statehouse Republicans have their boxers in a bunch because Governor Bill “Greenjeans” Ritter has nominated Matt Baker (pictured) to serve on the Public Utilities Commission. And everyone knows that Baker is…well, he’s…he’s an unregenerate tree-hugger, is what he is.

“Mr. Baker’s record is very troubling to me and many of my colleagues,” state senate minority leader Andy McElhany grouses in this press release. “You do not want someone on board who is driven by an overarching political agenda.”

McElhany thinks Baker, executive director of Environment Colorado, is way too negative about coal-fired power plants to get on board with the PUC. But actually, Baker’s group was one of several that cut a deal with Xcel Energy to allow it to build an expansion of its Comanche plant in Pueblo, in exchange for a greater commitment to alternative energy elsewhere. Read all about it here.

That’s certainly a more cooperative attitude than that of the PUC chair in the Bill Owens days – Greg Sopkin, an attorney who used to work for Xcel itself and never met a filthy, antiquated energy technology he didn’t like. But then, we only like overarching political agendas in PUC commissioners when it’s our agenda, right? -- Alan Prendergast

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Sean Cronin