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Mark Jaffe

Special to The Colorado Sun

Xcel Energy will drop $3 monthly pipeline fee that has raised three times the amount it was intended to collect

An agreement with utility regulators will still allow Xcel to charge customers for system upgrades, but with more scrutiny than the Pipeline System Integrity Adjustment, which generated $610 million


After collecting $610 million from Colorado customers, regulators say it’s time to end Xcel’s pipeline repair fee

The Pipeline System Integrity Adjustments fee was supposed to be temporary. A decade on, it now accounts for 16% of Xcel’s natural gas revenue in Colorado.


Plundered art held by the Denver Art Museum revealed in Pandora Papers’ exposé of billionaire finances

Six objects came to Denver via the indicted collector Douglas Latchford. The museum has removed four from Cambodia from its collection and is working to return them.

Crime and Courts

Xcel Energy may fill the hole left by closing its Hayden coal-fired power plant with salt. And fish.

The utility’s plan to generate electricity using molten salt could serve as a template for other towns facing the end of the age of coal.


Drilling leases on 58,000 acres of public land in Colorado were awarded without proper environmental review

A federal judge was asked to void the leases awarded in 2018, but she instead ordered “remedial action” based on current air quality and wilderness studies in northwest Colorado


Fine against KP Kauffman for leaks and spills upped to second largest ever by Colorado oil and gas regulators

Denver-based operator is facing $2 million fine for 22 violations at 7 sites. Founder says low oil prices, regulators, other oil companies and landowners hampered efforts.


Colorado regulators move forward with controversial new rule to slash greenhouse gas emissions

“We can’t keep doing the same thing over and over” to cut oil and gas emissions, strategist says as first-in-the-nation “intensity target” regulation moves on to full hearing in December.


A new rule to slash oil and gas emissions appeals to the industry, but Colorado activists worry it won’t work

The proposed "intensity target" rule aims to slash carbon emissions from the oil and gas industry by 60%. But the targets are based on data that doesn’t exist.


Cost of wholesale electricity nearly doubled for Colorado co-op suing Xcel Energy, its partner in Comanche 3

CORE, which owns a 25% stake in the troubled unit, wants to be reimbursed for costs related to the 700 days the Pueblo plant has been offline since 2010.


Smoke from faraway wildfires may be worse for Coloradans than if it came from blazes in their own backyards

Some initial studies have shown that long-range smoke may be more toxic and since one of its characteristics is that its smoky smell disappears, it is sneakier.


Colorado oil and gas company slapped with $1.6 million fine — one of the largest ever from state regulators

KP Kauffman, which operates 1,200 low-producing oil and gas wells on the Front Range, was sanctioned for a string of violations from improperly storing waste to failing to report and address spills


Nearly half of Colorado’s 52,000 wells produce little or no oil. Who’ll pay to plug them?

Rules are being drafted to cover the cost of cleaning up obsolete wells. But for rural farmers and suburban homeowners, idle pipes and pump jacks are a daily reminder of how complex and expensive the process is.


Oil and gas company KP Kauffman may lose right to operate in Colorado due to alleged environmental violations

The operator of 1,200 oil and gas wells on Colorado’s Front Range faces 70 pages of alleged violations in hearing with regulators that starts Tuesday.


Xcel Energy needs a smarter, greener electric grid. But should Colorado customers foot the $344 million bill for it?

If the Public Utilities Commission OK's Xcel’s largest ever rate increase, electric bills for Colorado customers will have increased 20% since the start of the year


Rural electric co-ops get shocking estimates of the cost to break up with Tri-State Generation

Nine members of Tri-State asked what they’d have to pay to leave the association. Now they want to know the formula used to calculate the bills.


An oil company that no longer exists faces a $344,000 fine Colorado doesn’t expect to collect. But that’s the point.

COGCC spent four years chasing a rogue oil company that left a mess in Huerfano County. Levying a fine it can’t collect lets the state grab a bond posted by Alta Mesa Resources to do the clean up.


If you’re an Xcel Energy customer, you’re getting a “smart meter” that will charge more for electricity used during peak periods

All 1.6 million Xcel Energy customers in Colorado will transition to time-of-use billing, which is intended to encourage people to reduce consumption during certain times of day.


Tri-State must tell members seeking cleaner, cheaper energy how much it would cost to break up, regulators say

Nine members of the association, including United Power, asked more than a year ago how much it would cost to break contracts running to 2050. Federal regulators gave Tri-State 30 days to clear the air.


Colorado doesn’t want to foot the bill for abandoned oil and gas wells. Here’s how it will avoid picking up the tab.

Senate Bill 181 told the state to strengthen “financial assurance” regs. COGCC now wants operators to guarantee the clean up of each well and the cost could run to the billions.


Some of the worst ozone pollution in the U.S. settles along the Front Range. New rules to fix it are ahead.

Colorado has made some progress toward reducing the chemical dangerous to human health. But it will take leaning on automobiles and oil and gas producers to really move the needle.

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