Election 2018EnergyHot Sheet

Tom Steyer-related group gives good grades to Polis on energy

Author: Joey Bunch - October 16, 2018 - Updated: October 16, 2018

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Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer speaks during a news conference in Washington on Jan. 8. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Advanced Energy Economy, a group founded by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, is giving high marks to Democrat Jared Polis’ ideas for Colorado’s future green power sources.

You’re shocked, I’m sure.

The Washington, D.C.-based group defines advanced energy as “sources, technologies and services that are affordable, clean and secure over the long-term.”

Polis set an early campaign goal of getting 100 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2040. He has said during debates with Republican Walker Stapleton that the pledge is a goal, not a mandate.

Stapleton and supporters of the oil and gas industry say tens of thousands of jobs, a billion dollars a year in tax revenue and $32 billion a year in economic impact are at risk.

Read the full report card by clicking here.

Advanced Energy Economy measured the policies it supports in gubernatorial races in nine political battleground states: Colorado, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada.

AEE said Polis supports many of its goals, including to:

  • Modernize the grid to take advantage of the digital economy.
  • Increase energy efficiency and demand response to save customers money.
  • Electrify transportation to decrease emissions and increase air quality and health.
  • Optimize electricity system infrastructure to drive innovation.
  • Improve access to capital for Colorado entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Stapleton, AEE reported, is “silent.”

The left-leaning group said it would follow the report card with digital ads.

“We want voters to understand what key policies can accelerate the growth of advanced energy and the jobs supported by the advanced energy industry, but also where the candidates for governor stand on those policies,” J.R. Tolbert, vice president of state policy for AEE, said in a statement.

Steyer, a generous funder of liberal politics, co-founded AEE in 2011.

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Bill Ritter, Jr., who founded and serves as director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, serves on the board of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute, a nonprofit focused on the economic potential of new energy sources.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.