Today, the Coalition for Colorado’s New Energy Future, a bi-partisan coalition of agricultural, labor, and environmental groups unveiled a comprehensive state energy plan in three cities: Colorado Springs, Denver, and Grand Junction. The Coalition called on candidates for elected office to endorse the plan.
“It’s time for Coloradans to take control of our energy future,” said campaign chairman Mike Bowman, a farmer from Wray, Colorado. “We need an energy plan that will make Colorado prosperous – we need to reduce dependence on foreign oil, grow the economy, reduce people’s energy bills, and protect our environment.”
The four point plan, entitled The Plan for Colorado’s New Energy Future, calls for Colorado to double the state’s use of renewable energy such as wind and solar power and double the use of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. The plan also sets energy efficiency goals to reduce waste and save consumers money and advocates increasing investment in the research and development of new energy technologies.
The Coalition for a New Energy Future emphasized that the goals of the plan are bold but achievable. “ Colorado just may be the best place in the nation for renewable energy. Colorado has the potential to generate nearly 13 times as much energy as we currently use, just from wind power alone,” said Lee Swenson, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union.
Mark Sponsler, the Acting Executive Director of the Colorado Corn Growers added, “ Colorado doesn’t have to rely so heavily on foreign oil. Colorado has an alternative – Colorado’s farmers can grow crops to produce affordable fuels and supply 10% of our gasoline and diesel.”
Representatives from labor organizations identified significant economic and job creation benefits from the plan. Steve Adams, President of the Colorado AFL-CIO says the plan will save Colorado consumers 1.8 billion dollars by 2015. “ Colorado’s working families have been hit hardest by recent spikes in gasoline prices and heating bills,” said Adams. “The Plan for Colorado’s New Energy Future will give working families relief from high energy bills.”
Neal Hall, Business Manager of the Colorado Building and Construction Trades Council, said the plan will add 3,700 permanent new jobs and 4,300 construction jobs for the construction and operation of renewable energy facilities and for the installation of energy efficiency measures. “Our Plan for a New Energy Future will directly create thousands of good new jobs for Coloradans.”
The coalition also identified several environmental benefits from the new plan. Will Coyne, Program Director for Environment Colorado said, “the burning of fossil fuels to create energy is the number one source of pollution on the planet. Our plan will reduce global warming pollution by at least 2.5 million tons per year while still providing clean, affordable energy.”
Campaign Chairman Mike Bowman called on candidates to endorse the plan, “We want those running for elected office, Colorado’s opinion leaders, and citizens to endorse the plan and show their commitment to a clean, secure, affordable energy future,” added Bowman.
For more information on energy efficiency:
Mark Ruzzin, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (303) 229-6039
For more information on renewable energy:
Craig Cox, Interwest Energy Alliance (303) 679-9331
Rick Gilliam, Western Resource Advocates (303) 444-1188 ext. 218