WASHINGTON - August 9 - Today marks the launch of the campaign (www.RenewableEnergyYES.com) to pass a groundbreaking ballot initiative on renewable energy use in Colorado this November. The Colorado Renewable Energy Initiative will be the nations first statewide vote on renewable energy and would require the states major utility companies to obtain 10% of their energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydroelectric power by 2015.
Although Colorado has enough wind and sun to meet its power needs more than 10 times over, the state currently gets only 2% of its energy from renewable sources. Increasing this margin to 10% would have the same environmental impact as removing pollution from 600,000 cars each year (according to the EPA).
The initiative has bipartisan support from Republican and Democratic leaders including campaign co-chairs, Speaker Lola Spradley (Rep) and Congressman Mark Udall (Dem).
It is a crucial time to think about our energy security. We need to prepare for the future by reducing our dependence on unstable foreign energy sources. Renewable Energy is a step toward a secure, stable energy future said co-chair Congressman Udall.
Citing the initiatives economic benefits, co-chair Spradley noted, Ranchers and farmers are ready to harvest a bumper crop of renewable energy that can bring important economic development to rural Colorado.
Unfortunately, the initiative is already facing powerful opposition from Xcel Energy, Colorados largest utility company. On August 2nd, Xcel announced that natural gas prices are on the rise. But rather than embracing the initiative, Xcels solution to growing energy demands and rising fuel prices is to build a large coal plant in Pueblo, CO.
This initiative will provide Coloradans with cleaner, safer, cheaper energy, said Matt Baker, RenewableEnergyYES.com committee member. Not only will renewable energy increase our security by reducing Americas reliance on unstable foreign fuels, it will also become less expensive over time, unlike gas and coal which will become increasingly expensive and hard to obtain.
Visitors to the campaigns web site can sign an online petition asking Xcel Energys CEO not to block progress for Colorado and urging him to withdraw Xcels opposition to the initiative. The web site also offers more information about the initiative, as well as how to support the campaign by volunteering or making a donation.