Sen. Gary Hart: Obama’s energy plan starts transformation of new, 21st century economy

Media Releases

Environment Colorado


Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart of Kittredge discussed the Obama energy plan before a packed room of hundreds at a monthly meeting of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society.  Sen. Hart currently holds the Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy at the University of Colorado at Denver.


The Senator’s presentation on the Obama energy plan focused on the energy and economic challenges facing Colorado and the country. He highlighted the fact that the president’s energy plan will increase energy security, revitalize our economy and combat global warming by repowering America with more renewable energy.


“Clearly, President Obama intends to use the current financial crisis to begin the transformation toward a new, 21st century economy.  Tonight and beyond, Coloradans must discuss how we can help lead that transformation,” said Sen. Gary Hart.


President Obama’s energy plan calls for ending our dependence on fossil fuels and our addiction to foreign oil by increasing investments in renewable energy. According to documents available from the White House website the plan will:


  • Put 1 million Plug-In hybrid cars on the road by 2015
  • Ensure that 10 percent of electricity comes from renewable resources by 2012 and 25 percent by 2025
  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.


“I am very optimistic about President Obama wanting to follow Colorado’s lead in developing a New Energy Economy, said Phil Von Hake, communications director for Colorado Renewable Energy Society. “Hopefully the rest of America will quickly catch up to Colorado and see the economic, environmental, national security, community-development, and other advantages of moving away from over-reliance on fossil fuels and toward greater use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.”  Senator Hart made the point that with most estimates predicting growth in energy demand both here and nationally, America is at a crossroads. Continued over reliance on depleting fossil resource will not only put our energy security at risk, but increase global warming pollution.


In his recent speech before Congress, President Obama called on Congress to pass legislation imposing a market-based cap on carbon pollution and invest $15 billion a year in renewable energy such as wind, solar, and geothermal power.


“We’ve shown that clean energy is a clear solution to global warming and a boost to Colorado’s economy.  We need a national new energy economy, and that starts with Congress passing a renewable energy standard,” said Keith Hay, energy advocate for Environment Colorado. “Not only will a green recovery protect our environment, it will reduce our dependence on oil and recharge our economy. From the first days of this administration, President Obama has pursued exactly those policies” 


President Obama has made clean energy a cornerstone of his economic recovery plan. According to the White House website, the plan calls to invest $150 billion over the next decade to build a national new energy economy that will create five million new jobs


“President Obama’s energy policy is a huge leap forward for Coloradans supporting renewable energy, the type of forward thinking leadership that’s been missing for the past eight years,” said Roger Singer, Sierra Club’s senior regional staff in Colorado. “While we may have some disagreements on issues like the misnomer ‘clean coal’, we know President Obama is effectively utilizing renewable energy production to create many green jobs in Colorado, something the state sorely needs.”