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Noah Long’s Blog

Clean energy in Colorado needs Governor Hickenlooper's leadership

Noah Long

Posted May 20, 2013 in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s signature on SB 252 to improve and expand the amount of renewable energy that utilities must provide will propel him into national leadership on clean energy by expanding and strengthening Colorado’s clean energy law, and will help Colorado build its clean energy economy. Both are very much needed.

Governors have a big job, one that provides precious little time for rhetoric or scare tactics. Taking the responsibility seriously means being willing to step outside the fray of politics to do the right thing for the state. It means taking the long view. It means leadership.

Ever since Colorado’s SB 252, which provides access to more clean energy like wind and solar power for rural Coloradans, passed the Legislature, there has been an explosion of baseless attacks on renewable energy. These attacks have been fast and loose with the facts:

  • Claiming the bill would cost consumers, even though it caps rate increases at only 2 percent, an amount that can easily be ofsett by tiny increases in efficiency. As renewable energy prices continue to fall, the bill may even reduce costs.
  • Claiming that only fossil fuels bring jobs, even though renewable energy already employs 10,000 Coloradans; and
  • Claiming that cleaner energy is unnecessary, even though the science is clear that Colorado and the West are already warming because of carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels

Most Coloradans are on track to get 30 percent of their energy from renewable power in the coming years. SB 252 would increase the access for rural Coloradans from 10 percent (one-third that of everyone else) to 20 percent, still lower than the rest of the state, but catching up. It’s an eminently reasonable and achievable target for the state’s utilities.

Governor Hickenlooper knows the facts. He knows clean energy is getting cheaper every day and the price of fossil fuels will be paid not just by us, but by our children and grandchildren. He knows Colorado is losing snowpack so vital to its economy and drinking water supplies. The state is warming up and facing the costs of climate change. The Governor knows SB 252 will help Colorado reduce pollution and improve public health.

SB 252 will recharge Colorado’s leadership on energy. Expanding access and markets for renewable energy will create good paying jobs and opportunity across the state.  It deserves the Governor’s signature.

 

Conservation Colorado is urging Coloradans to send a message to Governor Hickenlooper requesting his signature. Learn more, and send a message, here.

Photo by Matt Lemmon, under Creative Commons licensing.  

 

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