There is no better example of the tension in a purple state as Colorado, where abundant sunshine and wind for renewable energy competes with a struggling fossil fuels industry.  The EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) is a prime focus for this pressure, and the Rocky Mountains chapter has been out in front advocating for a strong implementation plan for Colorado.

Advocacy
In February, the chapter had a Day of Advocacy at the state capitol in Denver, where four E2 members met with 13 key legislators. We shared compelling experiences and data about how renewable energy and energy efficiency has had and will continue to have tremendous economic benefits to Colorado’s economy.

At the state legislature, there are two bills (SB-46 & SB-61) designed to stall and derail the CPP in Colorado. E2 members have testified against both bills before the Colorado Senate. Although they are expected to pass the Senate, it’s looking very likely that the House will stop these bad bills. At the same time, E2 thanks and commends Governor Hickenlooper for giving his full support to continuing to develop a Colorado implementation plan for the CPP, even in the face of the SCOTUS stay and Colorado Attorney General Coffman joining the lawsuit against the CPP.

The other important bill to mention is HB-1004, which requires an amendment to Colorado’s climate action plan, to set forth a strategy, including specific policy recommendations and measurable goals to reduce Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions and/or increase Colorado’s adaptive capability to respond to climate change.  E2 members testified in favor of this bill to the House committee (where it passed), and are preparing to testify at the upcoming Senate committee hearing (which has an uphill battle to pass).

We also brought E2’s voice to The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s public meetings on developing Colorado’s implementation Plan for the CPP, the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Hearing on proposed rules for public lands, and weighed in on a proposed Moratorium on Coal Lease for Federal Lands.

E2’s “The Burden” Screening & Panel Discussion – March 29th (Denver)
On March 29th, E2, along with NRDC’s Urban Solutions program, hosted a screening and panel discussion of the award-winning documentary “The Burden.” Panelists (pictured above, L to R) included former Indianapolis mayor and Lt. Col. Greg Ballard (USMC Ret.); Bob Keefe, E2 executive director, Capt. Don Martinez (US Army Ret.) and Burden producer/director Roger Sorkin. The lively discussion focused on the changing role of renewable energy in the US military and our economy. We had a audience of 80 people, made up of E2 members, allies, and guests. The crowd enjoyed networking before and after the event at Sie Film Center.

Susan Nedell is E2’s Rocky Mountains Advocate.