A key clean energy proposal backed by Colorado’s governor and legislative leaders to improve and expand the state’s renewable energy standard cleared the state’s Senate by a single vote last week and now faces a critical vote in its House of Representatives.
Colorado has a choice: dirty energy, or lead the future by providing more renewable energy to all Coloradans.
The bill, SB 252, would increase renewable energy like wind and solar for most of rural Colorado to 25 percent by 2020. That would clean up the grid for at least 100,000 Coloradans served by rural cooperatives and bring them closer to the 30 percent renewable target that urban customers will enjoy because the state’s largest utility, Xcel, is on track to get there on time and on budget.
Rural Colorado should not be left behind. Among the benefits will be more employment prospects in rural areas. Colorado’s renewables industry has already created nearly 10,000 clean energy jobs. Increasing renewable energy in the Centennial State will bring even more rural opportunities.
The proposal, SB 252 sponsored by state Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino of Denver with the backing of Governor John Hickenlooper, comes at a critical hour. Around the country, fossil fuel interests are fighting to kill clean energy standards. Congress is behind the ball, so state leadership is more important than ever.
A vote by Colorado’s General Assembly to expand renewable energy is a huge opportunity for leadership – and it will benefit the entire state.