Sen. Ray Scott sponsors bill to eliminate price break for low-income energy consumers

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

Last week State Senator Ray Scott embarrassed Mesa County residents and made a fool of himself by actually saying out loud on the Senate floor that climate change has led to “massive improvements” in our climate.

Now Scott is co-sponsoring a bill, SB 19-250 (pdf), that will deal a blow to low income people served by Black Hills Energy, the gas and electricity provider for residents of Pueblo, Canyon City, Ordway and Westcliffe. Scott’s bill would do away with a two-tiered rate structure Black Hills Energy put in place in 2017 to help low income energy consumers by giving them more protection from a state-approved rate increase that happened that same year.

Attacking low-income consumers

Right now, Black Hills Energy charges consumers a lower rate for the first 500 kilowatts of energy they use per month. Customers who use more than that pay a higher rate for every kilowatt above 500 that they use. Scott’s bill would collapse that tiered rate structure into a single, per-kilowatt rate, a change that would discourage energy conservation and benefit higher-energy users. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission confirmed that the change means low-end users would have to pay more, while high-end users would pay less.

Black Hills Energy issued a statement that said, “Low-income customers benefit from our tiered rates and removing the tier could potentially negatively impact our low-income customers and their ability to control their bill through usage.”

He doesn’t understand

Scott is known for being a simple-minded climate change denier who takes money from the oil and gas industry and has been unable to grasp the science behind climate change. Scott completed high school but has no college education. He uses Shutterstock photos to portray the “hard working Mesa County families” in his blog posts, rather than photos of actual hard-working Mesa County families, of which there are many. Last June Ray Scott was caught double-billing his expenses to both his state expense account and his re-election campaign account.



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