Commissioners push for natural gas plant in Mesa County

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Commissioners are pushing to bring a natural gas power plant to Mesa County.

The idea stems from an energy plan Xcel Energy released last year. The Mesa County commissioners wrote a letter to the governor to ask for his support in trying to bring the Xcel plant here.

"Because he's been working with a cooperative agreement with Utah to market our natural gas resources, we talk about Jordan Cove a lot but it's even bigger than that," said Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

The idea of a natural gas plant is still far from reality. But it's something the commissioners would fit right in with Mesa County.

"We have a lot of dry gas right here in Mesa County so environmentally it would be a perfect place to put the facility," said Pugliese.

Xcel's plan still needs to go through the public utility commission, so it's unclear how many jobs a potential plant would generate for our economy.

"There would be construction jobs in constructing the facility, and management and labor jobs in operating the facility, and so we would love to have those jobs on the Western Slope," said Pugliese.

"We need the jobs here and we have a lot of natural gas on the Western slope, and it'd make a lot of sense to bring that here," said resident Josh Smith.

The commissioners said the governor can't get involved because the process is going through the public utility commission. This will take them to their next step.

"So Xcel's step is to go through the PUC, so our step is to contact Xcel to see how we can help them through this process," said Pugliese.

Pugliese said she thinks a natural gas plant here in Mesa County would help eliminate the boom and bust cycles the county has seen in the past.

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