Mayor Steve Bach issued a statement today saying he would not comment on whether Colorado Springs Utilities should consider Xcel Energy‘s interest in buying CSU’s electric division.
Bach said Utilities is controlled by the Colorado Springs City Council, which doubles as the Utility board. Bach respects the council’s unilateral authority over all matters regarding Utilities, he said, and he believes it would “be inappropriate for him to engage in a debate on the best long-term solution for the electrical generating division.”
He added, “As mayor and as an ex officio member of the Utility board, I’m counting on council to diligently protect the long-term best interests of the CSU ratepayers and city taxpayers by assuring electric service reliability and the lowest possible rates, while thoughtfully and responsibly leading the enterprise regarding safety, operating costs, debt load, guaranteed pensions liability, EPA mandates and other risks.”
Xcel Energy has expressed interest in buying the city-owned Utilities’ electric division, which includes the controversial Martin Drake Power Plant.
The Minneapolis-based company, which has Colorado operations, asked Colorado Springs Utilities if it would entertain the idea of selling its electric generation fleet, including Ray Nixon coal-fired plant, the city’s natural gas-fired plant, its hydroelectric facilities and its backup generators.
In a June 27, letter the company offered to have closed-door discussions with Utilities about a possible sale. The Utilities board will discuss Excel’s letter in open at its meeting Wednesday.