On the Colorado Public Radio program, "Colorado Matters," host Ryan Warner today asks Republican candidate for governor about his position on renewable energy. Maes begins by saying he has trouble with propping up renewables with tax subsidies and that the mandate requiring utilities to supply a certain amount of renewable energy, passed because of the 'personal agenda' of outgoing governor, Democrat Bill Ritter.
After his memory is refreshed about the origins of the state Renewable Energy Standard (RES),* Maes seems to come full circle, or at least hedge his bets to the hilt, on his renewable energy policy position
Colorado Public Radio: "What, if anything, would you do to support renewables?"
Dan Maes: "Well, what I don't want to do is spend a lot of tax subsidies on propping up something that can't stand on its own. I want all energy to be productive and generate revenue for the state. When I think of energy, I see more energy revenue production through severance tax revenue."
CPR: "Didn't the people of Colorado in voting for Amendment 37, the Renewable Energy Standard, say, 'We want this. We want renewables to play a role.' And maybe that means propping them up until they, sort of, get on solid footing?
DM: "Well, you use 'the people of Colorado supported it, I would say that a Democratically-controlled legislature, assembly and governor made that decision because they wanted to fulfill a personal agenda of the Governor's. So, I don't believe--
CPR: "Well, the original amendment was voted on by the people... It has grown since then but the renewable energy standard was voted by a majority--a vast majority--of Coloradoans."
DM: "I guess you'll have to refresh my memory on that one. Are you talking about a citizens initiative to do it?"
CPR: "I'm talking about Amendment 37, a Renewable Energy Standard, that utilities had to have a minimum of renewables. It passed with 70 percent support."
DM: "If the people of Colorado voted for it, then it's critically important that we support that. My job as governor is to work for the people and if that's what the people want, we have to find a way to do it."
To which, I'd like to respond, it's not your job yet, Mr. Maes.
Colorado Republicans have to be a little concerned about their chances in the gubernatorial race. Things were looking a bit rosier until two weeks ago, when news broke their front runner, Scott McKinnis, had submitted work that wasn't his own to be published as his own for a private research institute. And while you'd think that McKinnis' plagiarism incident would drive support to Tea Party-backed Dan Maes, that has yet to materialize.
*In the fall of 2004, Colorado voters passed Amendment 37, the nation's first voter-approved renewable energy standard (RES). The law required large utilities to get 10 percent of their power from renewables by 2015. Since then, the RES has been bumped up to a requirement of 30 percent by 2020, a goal made possible by passage of HB 1001 in February of 2010.
Source: Colorado Public Radio