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| ||Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter speaks at the member meeting in Boulder, CO. |
On September 20, founding E2 members, Jeff and Lisa Bennett
, hosted E2 Rocky Mountains' Second Annual Member Celebration at their recently constructed “clean energy” home in Boulder, Colorado. Each year, the chapter hosts an event to recognize the work of its members and introduce new individuals to the E2 community. This year, the event focused on how business leaders, public officials, and environmentalists are working together to establish a strong clean energy economy. The event featured remarks by special guests former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter
, E2 Executive Director, Judy Albert
, and NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation (CMI) Executive Director, Peter Malik
. About 40 people attended the event, including Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor
, Former Boulder Mayor Jack Murray
, and State Director for U.S. Senator Mark Udall, Jennifer Rokala
Both Governor Ritter and Peter Malik provided examples of how they are using their respective organizations to deliver clean energy policy recommendations and market-based environmental solutions to local and state governments. Governor Ritter, who now heads the Center for the New Energy Economy at the Colorado State University, discussed the national consulting work he is doing with states and utilities. During Governor Ritter’s tenure, he signed 57 new energy bills into law; the result of which attracted major clean energy investments, capital, and new businesses to the state. Governor Ritter is taking these success stories across the country to assist policymakers and public officials with developing similar clean energy policies as a means for creating regional economic development. Peter Malik focused his discussion on how CMI is establishing and collecting a body of market-based environmental solution case studies to demonstrate their effectiveness to potential users; he spoke specifically on a current CMI project which is providing stormwater strategies to curb urban stormwater runoff and subsequent stormwater and sewage pollution.
Judy Albert provided an overview of the current political environment, recent congressional legislation, and the need for business leaders to actively engage and dialogue with their elected officials on environmental issues. E2 Rocky Mountains member, Sam Weaver
, spoke directly to prospective members about his recent experience as a delegate on E2’s annual Washington, D.C. trip. Mr. Weaver praised E2’s organization and ability to set meetings with high level federal officials, and relayed the power and effectiveness of a business leader’s voice on clean energy and environmental policy issues. E2 founding member and long-time E2 Rocky Mountains Chapter supporter, Joel Serface
echoed Mr. Weaver’s experience with E2 as a highly effective advocacy organization and platform for business leaders to interface with public officials. Mr. Serface has been instrumental in developing the cleantechnology sector in Colorado and working with public officials to implement legislation to attract venture capital and seed funding for cleantechnology business startups. Concluding the event, Jeff and Lisa provided information about and offered tours of their solar and geothermal home.
In all, guests heard of the broad range of issues E2 and NRDC are addressing, saw the diverse range of member interests within the organization, and learned about the unique partnerships E2 is creating with military, business, and environmental groups. E2 Rocky Mountains would like to thank Jeff and Lisa Bennett for graciously hosting the event; Governor Ritter, Judy Albert, and Peter Malik for attending and speaking at the event; and the MBA students from the University of Colorado’s Net Impact Club for volunteering at the event.
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