Thousands of people flocked to Coors Field for the Rockies’ home opener. Activists saw a good opportunity for a climate rally.

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With thousands on their way to Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies season opener, environmental groups used the occasion to stage an anti-fossil fuel protest in front of the largest utility company in the State.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the downtown Denver offices of Xcel Energy on Friday to demand that the utility stop burning coal and other fossil fuels to generate power. They focused much of the rally on the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo, Colorado’s largest coal-fired power plant and one of its biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

The utility has proposed shutting down the plant’s coal-fired generator by 2035. The Public Utilities Commission recently expressed interest in shutting it down early, citing potential benefits to customers and the environment. Regulators have also raised concerns about the plant’s newest coal-fired generator, which broke down in January after an electrical problem and is out of service for the foreseeable future.

“We don’t need this air pollution. Our community carries the burden of environmental justice communities everywhere,” said Dr. Velma Campbell, Pueblo resident, physician and member of the Colorado chapter of the environmental association Mothers Out Front. “Shut it down. Don’t restart it. Hold shareholders accountable.

David Alley, who lives in Denver, said he bought three shares of Xcel Energy when he moved to Colorado four years ago. He held a sign that read “COAL IS OUR PAST, NOT OUR FUTURE” and joined other protesters wearing red shirts that read “COAL FREE COLORADO.”

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