WTP files ballot initiative restoring right to lower utility bills

March 25, 2010
Contact: Donny Ferguson, 703-200-3669 or donnyferguson@gmail.com

Coloradans file ballot initiative restoring right to lower utility bills
Proposed initiative restores right of customers to opt out of price-hiking mandates

DENVER — Colorado citizens submitted to the Legislative Legal Council Wednesday a proposed ballot initiative restoring the right of consumers to lower their utility bills by choosing less-expensive forms of energy.

“In this economy, families should have the right to buy less expensive electricity. It comes down to one question, who controls your family budget, you or the political class?,” said Dan Fuchs, WTP Director of Government Relations and a former Montana state legislator.

“All we are doing is restoring the opt-out approved by the voters in Amendment 37 and without which that measure might not have passed. Legislators took away that opt-out provision in a subsequent session,” said Fuchs.

The “Consumer Choice in Energy” initiative was submitted by Parker resident Bob Kennedy and Greeley resident Kent Overturf. Kennedy started up a successful video production company and Overturf is a drywall installer and home remodeler. Western Tradition Partnership (WTP) a Denver-based citizens’ grassroots group promoting affordable energy, property rights and job security in the West, has been drafting the ballot language for a year and will work with citizens to pass it.

If approved, the initiative allows a utility’s customers to submit a petition requesting an election among customers on whether to opt out of so-called “renewable energy standards.” Renewable energy standards are government mandates forcing a utility to buy a certain percentage of their power from more expensive sources such as wind and solar, driving up utility bills.

Renewable energy standards are a favorite tool of speculators, who invested in the more expensive, less efficient sources and cannot attract consumers in a competitive market. By lobbying politicians to make purchasing their product mandatory, speculators pass their losses to captive customers.

“Renewable energy standards are the ultimate bailout – government officials forcing citizens to buy a more expensive product from speculators who are often political allies. You should have the right to make that decision for yourself, not have it imposed on you and extracted from your wallet by politicians,” said Fuchs.

WTP is a fast-growing, grassroots-supported non-profit organization advocating rational, responsible natural resource development and land use policy. For more information, go to http://www.westerntradition.org. For more information on this issue, or to schedule an interview, contact Donny Ferguson at 703-200-3669 or at donny.f@westerntradition.org.

The initiative language can be found here.

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