Colorado is a rising star in building renewable energy and using energy efficiently, according to America’s Clean Energy, a new report by Environment Colorado outlining the states that have taken leadership roles in addressing global warming.
“Thanks to Gov. Ritter and the state legislature, Colorado is quickly becoming a national leader in renewable energy,” said Matt Baker, Executive Director at Environment Colorado. “After last year’s success at the capitol, we truly are a rising star.”
Colorado received a gold star for its renewable portfolio standard and a silver star for its efficiency programs, making it one of the fastest rising stars in the country. The report assigns stars to each of the fifty states based on five energy related policy areas: having a renewable energy standard, adopting the clean cars program, establishing energy efficiency programs and appliance efficiency standards, and requiring building energy codes.
“Just a few years ago, Colorado would have ranked near the bottom of this list,” said House Majority Leader Alice Madden. “But today, we have moved the ball farther and faster than any other state.”
In 2004, Colorado became the first state where voters passed a Renewable Energy Standard, Amendment 37. This past session, with the commitment of the Governor as well as the Senate and House leadership, Colorado was able to make even more groundbreaking strides.
In addition to building the new energy economy through H.B. 1281, which doubled the original Amendment 37 renewable energy standard, the legislature passed over a dozen bills that moved Colorado to the forefront including:
- H.B. 1037 – which requires energy efficiency standards for utilities.
- H.B. 1146 – which set strong standards for building efficiency
- S.B. 100 – which helped determine transmission needs in the state
- S.B. 91 – which mapped the state’s renewable resources
- SB.246– which established a renewable energy fund
“It’s great to be recognized for the work that we have done in making Colorado a leader in building America’s renewable energy economy,” said former Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald. “Citizens all across Colorado made it known that they wanted action, and we were happy to deliver.”
While there are only seven gold star states cited in the report, Colorado could soon join them if key pieces of Governor Ritter’s newly announced Climate Action Plan are implemented, such as the adoption of Clean Car standards.
“Governor Ritter’s executive order greening state government set a strong example of what can be accomplished with bold leadership,” said Tom Plant, Executive Director of the Governor’s Energy Office.