The Rockies chapter over the past several months worked hard on major legislation to advance energy efficiency and electric vehicles (EVs). Although the energy efficiency bill was met with strong resistance by key state senators who are supported by the fossil fuel industry, we were able to help bring Republican and Democratic lawmakers together by emphasizing the economic benefits of HB-1227: Electric SDM Program Extension and gain passage of this important legislation. You can read my blog about it here “A Big Win for Colorado: Energy Efficiency Bill Heads to the Governor,” The EV bill – HB-1232 – didn’t pass, but there are discussions underway to introduce a similar EV bill at the 2018 legislative session.
We had a busy Spring. In March, the chapter was pleased to host a conversation with the chair of the state’s public utilities commission to discuss clean energy and other issues. In April, we were a partner at the NREL Industry Growth Forum. In May, we co-hosted “The Apartment of the Future – iUnit at NREL,” featuring Rockies member Brice Leconte.. Also in May, four Rockies members trekked to DC to join other E2 members at the People’s Climate March and participate in E2 meetings with members of Congress. Our Colorado team met with nine federal lawmakers (six Republicans) to advocate for Department of Energy funding, tax credits for wind and solar and other critical issues to advance the clean energy economy in Colorado and the nation.
Last month, Rockies member RJ Mastic presented E2’s Clean Jobs Colorado report as part of a panel discussion at the Climate Communities Summit in Aspen. Separately, our members got together with Gail Parson, E2's new Director of Member and State Engagement, to discuss ideas on what E2 can do better. Rockies member Chris Arndt, meanwhile, attended the Climate Leadership Summit in Telluride.
In response to President Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, two E2 Rockies members joined me at a meeting with Gov. Hickenlooper’s energy policy advisor to encourage the governor to have Colorado join the group of governors who have pledged their support for the Paris Climate Agreement. During the meeting, we discussed actions the governor can take without additional legislation to cut emissions and grow the clean energy economy.
This summer we will continue to engage our Rockies members in a variety of advocacy opportunities, projects, events, and prepare for the 2018 legislative session.
Over the past few months, the Rockies chapter got quite a bit of media attention, including:
- Blog: Doubling energy efficiency savings in CO would bring huge economic benefits to the state, by S. Nedell (3/14)
- Opinion: Putting America First Means Building More Clean Energy, by E2 member, Tony Williams, C-Springs Gazette (3/15)
- Radio interview: Rockies Member Tony Williams Talking Clean Energy Job on Colorado Radio – KGNU (3/31)
- Blog: Greater Adoption of Electric Vehicles Would Lower Colorado’s Utility Bills, by S. Nedell (4/18)
- Blog: Big Win for Colorado: Energy Efficiency Bill Signed by the Governor! By S. Nedell (5/11)
- Blog: The PUC Did The Right Thing To Advance Colorado’s Clean Energy Economy by S. Nedell (6/26)
- Oped: Viewpoint: Cutting energy budget will harm Colorado and the U.S. (6/27)
Photo: Governor Hickenlooper signed into law HB1227 at the STEM Lab Elementary School in North Glenn. An enthusiastic group of students participated in the ceremony – all having worked on energy efficiency projects in class.