Citizens for Sensible Energy Choices

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Citizens for Sensible Energy Choices (apparently now defunct) is a group - largely funded by power utilities - that opposed a Colorado initiative to pass a Renewable Energy Standard that would require 10% of the state's electricity to be sourced from wind and solar. The initiative was on the ballot in November 2004. Despite the opposition of CESC and the power utilities, the proposal narrowly passed, 52% to 48%. [1]

The inititive - known as Proposition 37 - was promoted by Coloradans for Clean Energy and is the first such proposal in the country.

CSEC, in arguing against the proposal, described it as an unfunded mandate and urged that the promotion of renewable energy should not be mandated but should instead emerge in responses to market forces when it becomes economic.


The Colorado Secretary of State received a registration from Michelle Stermer for CSEC as an issue committee on July 28, 2004. On August 3, 2004 Mac Mclennan, from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, took over from Stermer as the registered agent for the group.

On August 31, 2004 Ken Bergquist from the Denver-based marketing/PR company Walt Klein & Associates registered the domain name.


Returns filed with the Colorado Secretary of State's office reveale that CSEC funders to September 2004 are:

Xcel Energy, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and the Colorado Rural Electric Association are the three major power supply companies in Colorado. [2]

By September 2, 2004 CSEC had spent $41,049 on the services of Texas-based opinion polling amd market research company, Hill Research Consultants. By the end of September CSEC had $498,527 on hand.

Opponents of Proposition 37

On its website CSEC does not disclose its funders but lists 'opponents of Proposition 37 as being:

  • Aquila
  • Club 20
  • Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry
  • Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities
  • Colorado Mining Association
  • Colorado Rural Electric Association
  • Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Downtown Denver Partnership
  • Intermountain Rural Electric Association
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 111
  • Metro North Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties
  • Southeast Business Partnership
  • Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association
  • United Transportation Union
  • Xcel Energy

Related SourceWatch Resources

Contact details

Citizens for Sensible Energy Choices
P.O. Box 413
Denver, CO 80201
Phone:(720) 904-9197
Web: (now defunct)

External links