Lawmakers on the House Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee voted today in favor of a measure aimed at a make-over for the Governor’s Energy Office to promote traditional fuels as well as renewable ones.
‘The point … is to bring everyone to the table—all of our energy sources to the table,” said Becker.
In addition to changing the name of the Governors Energy Office—known as GEO-—to the Colorado Energy Office, HB 1312 also would refocus the mission of the office to promote conventional energy technologies, not just renewable energy technologies, and would reduce the number of state employees under the energy office. Cost efficiencies and market support would be a part of the mission of the office.
The agency was created in 1977 and named the Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation. In 2007, then-Gov. Bill Ritter renamed the office the Governor’s Energy Office and made it the centerpiece of his oft-touted “New Energy Economy.”
According to GEO’s website, the stated goal of the current administration is to “continue to shape it into an organization that will effectively, efficiently and elegantly advance energy efficiency and renewable clean energy resources, while also focusing on increasing business and job creation in Colorado.”
Rep. Matt Jones, D-Louisville said that traditional energy technologies, primarily coal and natural gas, don’t need the help of the state to promote themselves.
“There’s a premise in this bill that just isn’t true,” said Jones. “This would further the imbalance between traditional and renewable resources if traditional resources will continue to be a focus.”
Yet, Rep. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction says that picking winners and losers among energy sources is not a solution to improving the environment.
‘The largest polluter in Colorado is Mother Nature,” said Scott. “I’m an ‘all of the above’ kind of guy, and I’d like to see all these technologies succeed in Colorado.”
Despite the reconfiguration of the energy office, a legislative mandate requiring 30 percent of energy generated by utilities come from renewable sources by the year 2020 remains in place.
HB 1312 is now headed to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.
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