DENVER (AP) – A Democratic plan to require rural electricity co-ops to use more renewable energy sources has advanced in the Senate despite vigorous opposition from Republicans.

The bill that won preliminary approval Friday night would require cooperative electric associations to get 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, up from 10 percent. Republican lawmakers unsuccessfully argued that the stricter energy standard would unfairly drive up energy prices in rural Colorado. The bill says rates can’t go up more than 2 percent, but Republicans questioned that projection.

The energy bill would also add coal mine methane and gas from municipal waste to categories of renewable energy. One more formal vote is required before the measure moves to the House.

LINK: Senate Bill 252

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