Action at the State Level on National Position
The League supports:
- Energy goals and policies that acknowledge the United States as a responsible member of the world community;
- Reduction of energy growth rates;
- Use of a variety of energy sources, with emphasis on conserving energy and using energy-efficient technologies;
- The environmentally sound use of energy resources, with consideration of the entire cycle of energy production;
- Predominant reliance on renewable resources;
- Policies that limit reliance on nuclear fission;
- Action by appropriate levels of government to encourage the use of renewable resources and energy conservation through funding for research and development, financial incentives, rate-setting policies and mandatory standards;
- Mandatory energy-conservation measures, including thermal standards for building efficiency, new appliance standards and standards for new automobiles with no relaxation of auto-emission control requirements;
- Policies to reduce energy demand and minimize the need for new generating capacity through techniques such as marginal cost or peak-load pricing or demand-management programs;
- Maintaining deregulation of oil and natural gas prices;
- Assistance for low-income individuals when energy policies bear unduly on the poor.
LWVCO supported Amendment 37, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RES), which was passed by the voters in 2004 and expanded by the Legislatures of 2007, 2010 and 2013. Colorado now requires investor-owned utilities to derive 30% of their retail electric sales from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. The legislature also extended the requirement at a lower level to rural electric cooperatives (REAs) and larger municipal utilities in 2008. The 2013 General Assembly raised the RES to 20% by the year 2020 for REAs serving 100,000 or more meters and for the General and Transmission Cooperative Energy Association serving Colorado REAs. Additional measures affecting REAs were passed: requiring net metering on buildings with solar installations in 2008 and making governance more transparent in 2010.
Since 2007 League has supported legislation that would cut energy usage in state and other public buildings, increase the use of alternative fuels in state vehicle fleets, and set standards to purchase more environment-friendly products. Financial incentives to consumers, businesses, and electric and natural gas utilities were also initiated to encourage the adoption of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures.
In 2009 League supported legislation establishing a renewable energy loan program for Colorado schools and committing to off-setting all electricity use in Colorado parks with electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Reduction of barriers to the adoption of renewable energy production and energy efficiency in the public sector has been addressed each year.
LWVCO supported the 2012 reorganization of the Governor’s Energy Office into the Colorado Energy Office once continued funding for low income weatherization programs was assured. The bill funded the office through the 2016-17 fiscal year and added promotion of traditional energy sources to its portfolio.