by Pam Zubeck
Mayor Steve Bach told KVOR last month he wasn't interested in selling Colorado Springs Utilities' power division, which certainly is looking like a good decision in light of Xcel Energy's latest profits report. That shows the multi-state power provider soaked Coloradans but good last year.
The Denver Business Journal writes that "Colorado accounted for roughly half of Xcel Energy Inc.'s earnings per share (EPS) in the fourth quarter as well as in all of 2012."
Here's another report about Xcel's fourth-quarter results.
On Monday, we posted a blog here that quotes what Bach said to KVOR. The upshot: "I am not interested in decommissioning Martin Drake [power plant downtown]. That is not on my radar screen. OK? And I’m also not even thinking about selling Utilities."
Must have been a recent reversal, because Bach sent a letter to Utilities CEO Jerry Forte only six weeks ago seeking detailed information about Drake, its cost per megawatt hour, the strategy to comply with environmental regulations and a host of other technical matters. He even mentions the Sierra Club's threatened lawsuit if the Springs hangs tough in refusing to immediately shut down Drake.
Here's the letter:
Keep in mind that the Public Utilities Commission in Denver regulates Xcel, including either approving or disapproving rate increases. Here, that function is fulfilled by City Council, which comprises the Utilities Board, at least for now. Bach, who is a non-voting member of the board, would like to have more control.
Regardless, Bach for now is interested in finding ways to drain money from the $2 billion operation. Check out J. Adrian Stanley's report this week for more on that.