An organization “dedicated to the advancement of rational, free-market solutions to America’s land, energy, and environmental challenges,” has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Colorado, alleging that the state’s renewable electricity standard violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause because it provides to the state’s renewable electricity generators economic benefits that are not available to out-of-state power generators. Am. Tradition Inst. v. Colorado, No. 11-859 (D. Colo. 4/4/11).

The complaint asserts that the burdens imposed on interstate electricity generators are not commensurate with the benefits provided to Colorado and its citizens. The Colorado standard requires the states’ major utilities to provide 30 percent of their power generation from renewable sources by 2020. According to plaintiffs, the standard promotes renewable sources and discriminates against lower-cost, more reliable energy generation from out-of-state suppliers. The complaint seeks a declaration that the standard is unconstitutional and an injunction against its enforcement.