Colorado Citizens Spoke, Governor Ritter Listened

Submitted by amyguinan on December 16, 2010 – 4:47pm

Colorado Governor, Bill Ritter, has been named America’s greenest Governor for his leadership efforts in transitioning Colorado to a “new energy economy” and Colorado citizens can take pride in knowing their bottom up activism related to clean energy and job creation was heard at the state level and helped to drive policy.

In a recent interview, Governor Ritter stated that “cultivating a competitive edge in energy and sustainable development is what we should be doing” and that these goals meet job creation and environmental concerns – both of which Colorado citizens has expressed concerns about.

Amendment 37, approved by Governor Ritter, sets Colorado’s renewable energy standard at 30% by 2020 – one of the highest standards in the country.  Furthermore, Ritter supports HB-1365 and belives that a transition off of coal and onto renewables or natural gas helps to address human-caused climate change and improves energy security.

In addressing citizen concerns about the stalemate in a national clean energy policy, Ritter said, “This isn’t Democrats versus Republicans so much as lobbyists and special interests standing in the way. If you see someone opposed to something like energy efficiency, they are probably hanging onto an industry that has seen its day.”

For more information on Governor Ritter’s new energy economy plans, click here: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2010/12/06/americas-greenest-governor-discusses-smart-growth-clean-energy

A Dramatic Drop in Coal-Based Power Predicted by 2035

Submitted by amyguinan on December 16, 2010 – 3:09pm

According to a new study by Black & Veatch, coal’s share of the United States’ electricity market will drop dramatically over the next two decades as reliance on natural gas expands and new pollution controls for coal plants come into effect.  The firm projects that “coal-fired power plants will provide 25 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2035, down from 49 percent today. Natural gas-powered facilities’ share of electricity generation will rise to 40 percent, up from 21 percent. Renewable energy production will spike from four percent to 11 percent while nuclear generation increases slightly from 20 percent to 21 percent in 2035.”

Lilke many models, Black and Veatch assume that federal legislation will pass that would impose caps on carbon emissions and increase the price for coal-based power generation.

Black & Veatch predicts that about 16 percent of the U.S.’ coal-fired fleet will be retired in the coming years to avoid the cost of complying with new pollution control measures.

For more information, click here: http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2010/12/06/report-a-dramatic-drop-in-coal-fired-power-by-2035-in-the-u-s/

Limits on what Xcel can charge customers for Boulder Smart Grid

Submitted by Lili Francklyn on November 10, 2010 – 6:34pm

Under the settlement Xcel would be entitled to full cost recovery from 1.4 million ratepayers across Colorado – not exceeding $44.5 million.

The utility’s SmartGridCity, originally estimated at roughly $15 million – and not to be incurred by Boulder ratepayers – has seen costs rise to more than $44.5 million since its 2007 inception.

If no protests are lodged within 20 days, the PUC will adopt the recommendation and pass the cost of Xcel’s SmartGridCity onto ratepayers.  Email the PUC with protests or complaints;
pucconsumer.complaints@dora.state.co.us

Kansas Coal Plant Controversy Mounting

Submitted by amyguinan on November 5, 2010 – 10:05am

“As goes Kansas, so goes the Nation” – and Kansas is taking on coal.

In 2007, Kansas Environmental Chief Roderick Bremby drew the attention of the nation as the first state regulator to use greenhouse gas emissions as a reason to reject an air quality permit to build the proposed Sunflower coal plant in western Kansas. He declared carbon dioxide emissions from the proposed plant would be a public and environmental health risk and noted the risks of global warming. The Legislature later changed the laws, allowing the coal plant to proceed.

After Bremby denied the permits, Sunflower launched a legal and legislative battle. The state legislature voted to allow the new plants, and Governor Sebelius – who has since become Obama’s U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services – vetoed the bill three times.

On Nov 2nd, as midterm elections dominated the news, Kansas’ newest Governor, Mark Parkinson, fired Bremby.  And Sunflower Electric Power Corporation is back again with a deadline looming.  In January of 2011, new federal rules on greenhouse gas emissions begin to take effect.  If Sunflower receives a state air-quality permit before that date, its propsed plant will be grandfathered under the current standards.

“It was a midnight execution,” says NRDC senior advocate Theo Spencer. “When everybody’s eyes were on the election, the governor fires the guy who was responsible for protecting public health and the environment so he can ram this power plant through against public opinion.”

Scott Allegrucci, director of the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy (GPACE), says “there isn’t anyone in the state who doesn’t know what this was about.” He’s certain Bremby was removed to clear the way for someone willing to expedite the air permit for Sunflower’s proposed 895-megawatt coal plant in western Kansas and allow it to avoid the looming EPA rules.

For more information, visit: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/may/17/sebelius_vetoes_third_bill_allowing_coalfired_plan/

http://www.onearth.org/article/regulator-who-blocked-kansas-coal-plant-ousted-by-governor

Solar Thermal Alliance Forming in Colorado

Submitted by amyguinan on November 5, 2010 – 9:17am

The Colorado Renewable Energy Society and the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association are leading the formation of a Solar Thermal Alliance for Colorado.  According to National Renewable Energy Lab researchers, “Colorado’s sunshine, climate, and heating requirements make solar thermal technologies perform better in Colorado than in any other state in the U.S. Colorado’s solar thermal expertise is among the best in the world.”

Their vision is to make Colorado a global leader in solar thermal adoption, installation, manufacturing, and R&D to boost Colorado’s economy, generate jobs, and help build a sustainable energy future.

If you are interested in lending your support to the Solar Thermal Alliance of Colorado, please send a quick e-mail to STAC@cres-energy.org

Accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy