Odd bedfellows tour rolls on with Clean Air, Clean jobs rally at Capitol
About 300 people rallied on the west steps of the state capitol Monday morning to show their support for the proposed Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act, which would require Xcel Energy to mothball or retrofit three coal-burning power plants in favor of cleaner-burning gas-powered facilities.
State Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, reportedly stood in for State Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, who would not attend Monday’s event but did participate in a conference call in support of the bill with Gov. Bill Ritter over the weekend.
HB 1365 is a key part of Ritter’s ongoing reformation of the state’s energy landscape via his “New Energy Economy.” The bill seeks to position Colorado as a proactive player on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and Front Range haze ahead of looming federal climate change legislation and tighter enforcement by the EPA.
The bill has the support of the state’s largest power-producing utility, Xcel Energy, as well as officials from the natural gas sector, but coal industry representatives say it’s a slippery slope to higher electricity prices and the loss of jobs and revenues in their sector.
Penry has long been at odds with Ritter over environmentally tougher natural gas drilling regulations he claims have cost the industry jobs in his Western Slope district, but he supports this bill on the grounds that it will boost the industry and cut down on smog. He refuses to acknowledge the potential climate change benefits.
McNulty was part of Penry’s plan to use energy issues to reclaim key state Senate seats in 2008 using a nonprofit astroturf group called the Western Skies Coalition. That group has resurfaced lately as possible platform for GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis.
Got a tip? Freelance story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
News Literacy Project event: Concerned about online misinformation? The lack of news literacy? You can make a difference by participating in this free workshop! After […]Read More
The Home Front: Trump administration would allow drilling in Colorado ‘next to some of the nation’s most pristine wilderness and headwaters’
“From a small plane circling over secluded grassy meadows and Sangre de Cristo Mountain spires, politicians and conservationists on Friday will see the stakes as […]Read More