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Proposal to award tax incentives fo data centers postoned in Colorado Senate. Meanwhile, warnings from the Washington Post…


On Feb. 20, Big Pivots sent out a column about a legislative bill that proposes to award tax breaks to developers of major data centers in Colorado. Bad, bad bill, the column said;

The argument was in the subhead: TThey use water, deliver relatively few jobs and could stall Colorado’s progress toward decarbonization. So why would we deliver subsidies?”

See: Why data center tax breaks in Colorado? They’re coming anyway.

The first legislative hearing of the bill, SB24-085, was scheduled for late February but was rescheduled  to March 7 – and now has been postponed again.

“It has been laid over and we don’t know the new date for it yet,” said Sen. Kevin Priola, a prime sponsor, on Friday in response to an e-mailed query from Big Pivots.

Demand for electricity posed by data centers was already an issue, but experts have been warning for a couple of years or more that increased use of artificial intelligence will escalate the demand even more – in cases imperiling the urgent work of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In Virginia, the epicenter for this debate in the United States, Dominion has even talked about delaying closing of its coal-fired power plants to meet the  burgeoning demand.

On Friday, the Washington Post posted a story that had an eye-popping lede graph:

“Vast swathes of the United States are at risk of running short of power as electricity-hungry data centers and clean-technology factories proliferate around the country, leaving utilities and regulators grasping for credible plans to expand the nation’s creaking power grid.”

The story said that data centers consumed 2% of the nation’s electricity in 2022 but are projected to use 6% in 2026.

See: “Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power.”

Allen Best
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