Library filed under Energy Policy from Colorado
When the country thinks about its energy problems, it often focuses on our dependence on foreign oil and the recent high prices of gasoline. Petroleum provides 40 percent of our energy and is particularly vulnerable to geopolitical swings in unstable regions of the world. But utility executives worry that Americans are failing to appreciate another aspect of the energy picture, namely that the power plants using coal, natural gas and nuclear power to produce electricity may soon not meet our growing needs. "My biggest fear is that we are running out of generation," said Michael G. Morris, chairman and chief executive of American Electric Power, with 5 million customers in 11 states. "That is an issue that the average person doesn't know a thing about. When we tell corporate America, they say, 'What do you mean you're running out of power?"' The executives' concern is echoed by the North American Electric Reliability Council, which last week said in its annual report that in two to three years, the margin between power supply and demand will drop below levels necessary for reliability in Texas, the Northeast and the Midwest. Other parts of the country could reach that point in the next decade.
BEAVER CREEK - While some of the world's leading geologists, physicists and investment bankers are saying a decline in oil production will soon change civilization as we know it, Scott Tinker recently told the Vail Valley there is no energy crisis. "We're never going to run out of oil," said Tinker, Texas' state geologist, as well as the director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. "The Stone Age did not end for lack of stones, and the oil age will not end for lack of oil. We'll run out of ideas before we run out of oil." Tinker and 15 others spoke about their views on energy in the region, state and world during Forecast for the Future, an energy forum hosted by the Vail Symposium last weekend at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek.
Paccione also spoke about the country’s dependency on foreign oil, and said she would fight to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit to give incentives to businesses pursuing renewable energy. The current tax credit for energy generated by wind turbines will expire in 2007.
A coalition including union representatives, farmers and environmentalists called Thursday for boosting renewable energy resources in Colorado. The Coalition for Colorado’s New Energy Future said it was urging lawmakers to adopt its recommendations to encourage more use of solar, wind and biofuel power.
The state will need to produce an additional 4,900 megawatts of new power sources by 2025 - either by building new baseload plants, decreasing demand through conservation measures or a combination of both - in order to meet expected growth and avoid energy shortages.
Colorado has emerged as one of the leading states in developing renewable energy resources, according to a Pew Center on Global Climate Change study.
The governor also notified lawmakers Monday he was letting a bill aimed at boosting wind-energy production in Colorado become law without his signature. House Bill 1275, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, changes the method of taxing wind farms from a business tax based on the value of equipment that depreciates over time to a production tax that levelizes the revenue stream to counties over a 20-year period.
A new coal-burning electricity plant is under construction in Pueblo. To the north, in Frederick, work is under way on another electricity plant, this one fired by natural gas. Solar and wind farms are cropping up in Lamar, Peetz, Grover and the San Luis Valley.
DENVER -- Concerns about the constitutionality of a bill aimed at luring wind farms to northeast Colorado forced Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, to postpone a final Senate vote Thursday.
DENVER - Renewable-energy advocates accused the state of doing the bare minimum to promote wind and solar power in its new rules.
DENVER - The House passed and sent to the Senate a bill that attempts to lure more wind farms to northeastern Colorado. The vote was 54-9 earlier this week.
Western Colorado is poised to make a significant contribution to the nation's energy independence, said Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, who spoke to a capacity crowd at the Energy Forum and Expo Friday in Grand Junction.
Washington - President Bush plans to visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden on Feb. 21 to highlight the administration's efforts to develop alternatives to oil, sources say.
"These studies will provide rural communities with the necessary tools to utilize this emerging industry and build a diverse economic base," said Brian Vogt, director of the OEDIT and acting secretary of technology.
Another energy cooperative has opted out of Amendment 37, the year-old initiative that requires large Colorado power providers to increasingly use renewable sources for their juice.
Representative Mark Udall, D-CO, has criticized the mixed signals being generated by Congress on the importance it places on renewable energy research during a debate on the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, HR 2419.
Wind energy is environmentally harmful and costly to taxpayers. Furthermore, its expansion could adversely affect the nation's electricity transmission system.
If renewables were indeed less expensive than conventional alternatives as suggested by the Public Policy Consulting Report, why mandate their purchase and set a minimum market share?