CO Legislature Energized

These are some of the energy bills Colorado lawmakers are considering:Senate Bill 91, sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz, passed the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee on a vote of 7-0. The bill will create a 16-member Renewable Resource Generation Development Task Force. The Task Force will develop a map of areas in Colorado that hold potential to support competition among renewable energy developers for renewable energy projects.

House Bill 1037, sponsored by Rep. Claire Levy, will encourage natural gas utilities to create conservation and energy efficiency programs that will reduce emissions and air pollutants.  The program is estimated to save consumers over $560 million on utility bills and will cut natural gas consumption significantly over the next decade.  Last year a similar bill passed the House and Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Owens.

HB 1087, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Kerr, will help schools install wind turbines on their campuses and become models for the community.  Schools must create a curriculum around wind energy and students must be part of the project to qualify.

HB 1155, sponsored by Rep. Lundberg and was postponed indefinitely in the Finance Committee. It concerned the disposition of state revenues from the severance tax imposed on oil shale, requiring revenues from the tax in excess of a specified amount to be used to fund state transportation projects and provide property tax relief. 

An argument against the bill was the fact that currently there is no viable oil shale industry.

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Leslie Robinson

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