Denver - For the second year in a row, Colorado environmental leaders were delighted to learn that green issues were one of the central themes of Governor Bill Ritter's State of the State Address. Considering that the Governor, as well as both houses of the legislature are held by the Democrats, my guess is that he will get most or all of his environmental agenda passed.
In addition to covering renewable energy, natural resources, energy efficiency and carbon proposals, the Governor also announced the winners of the first ever Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards. I was very happy to see that one of Fort Collins' hometown heroes, New Belgium Brewery brought home the prize in the large business category. (If a brewery can make you feel good about yourself for buying a beer, they might just have a customer for life
Excerpts and more from the Colorado State of the State Address:
- "In 2007, we saw nearly 650 megawatts of wind farms built on Colorado's Eastern Plains -- enough energy to power nearly 250,000 homes."
- "Vestas Blades picked Colorado for its first North American wind blade manufacturing plant. This means hundreds of new jobs for Colorado. Thanks to companies like Vestas, Ascent Solar and Abengoa, thanks to world-class research institutions, the next generation of new-energy technology is being developed right here in Colorado."
Summary of Governor Ritter's latest proposals for Colorado's New Energy Economy
- Pass a net-metering law would allow homeowners and businesses to earn credits on their energy bill by selling power back to the grid.
- Initiate a "Go Solar" program would require utilities to give homeowners a rebate when they purchase solar power equipment.
- Create a Colorado Carbon Fund that would assist with the financing of various GHG emission reduction efforts. The fund would be financed with voluntary contributions.