Announcing his agenda for the legislative session that gets under way Wednesday, Gov. Bill Ritter Tuesday revealed a plan to increase Colorado’s renewable energy standard (RES) by another 10 percent by 2020.
In a press release Tuesday, Ritter set this as his first legislative goal:
“Increasing Colorado’s 20 percent by 2020 Renewable Energy Standard to 30 percent by 2020: Gov. Ritter and lawmakers doubled the state’s voter-approved RES in 2007. The 20-by-20 goal is within reach and it’s time to set our goals higher and continue creating tens of thousands of new jobs, increasing Colorado’s energy security and protecting our environment.”
Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer Tuesday confirmed that state Rep. Max Tyler (D-Lakewood) will sponsor the bill in the state House, although it will not seek to increase the current percentage of renewable energy required of rural electric associations (REAs), which was set at 10 percent by 2020 by the legislature in 2007.
In 2004, Colorado voters approved Amendment 37, which required10 percent of a utility’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. In a 2005, the membership of the state’s largest REA, the Intermountain Rural Electric Association, opted out of Amendment 37, but 2007’s HB 1281 mandated 10 percent for REAs and 20 percent for all utilities.
State Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) told the Colorado Independent last month she will introduce a bill requiring more transparent and even-handed election policies for REAs, which some members claim purposefully stack the deck in favor of incumbents who prefer traditional energy sources like coal and natural gas.