If you thought gubernatorial candidates Jared Polis and Michael Johnston are thinking big on renewable energy, then get a load of state Sen. Matt Jones.
While Polis and Johnston are running on a proposals to get the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, the state lawmaker from Louisville will run a bill next session to get the state there by 2035, which could place it in most current legislators’ lifetimes.
Jones has said he will run for Boulder County Commission next year. He leads the Senate Democrats’ environmental efforts.
A 2012 poll by the American Council on Renewable Energy suggested “72 percent of Coloradans agree that “rather than using more coal, we should move toward cleaner sources of energy, a view held across party lines including Democrats (92 percent), Independents (75 percent) and a plurality of Republicans (48 percent to 38 percent).”
Jones said he will call the bill the Cheaper Cleaner Power Act. It’s bound to get unplugged by the Republican majority in the state Senate that has shown an affinity for the existing energy industry, favoring a market-dependent transition into renewables. Jones said in a statement that the wealthy oil-and-gas industry, with its political reach, should not get in the way of Coloradans’ goals for all-renewable energy.
Jones cited climate change in a statement Monday.
“We can choose one of two paths: We can continue to ignore the surge in abnormal, severe weather events. We can continue to hitch our wagon to expensive, unpredictable fossil fuel sources that pollute our air, cause deadly explosions and spills and drive climate change,” he said.
“Or, we can be a leader in a technological revolution that prioritizes public health, creates thousands of well-paying jobs, and ensures that our air, land, and water endure as a resource for all Coloradans for generations to come. Investing in clean energy means investing in our communities’ ability to take charge of our own energy future instead of depending on fossil fuel prices set by foreign cartels like OPEC.”
He also cited good-paying jobs in the wind, solar and energy storage industries. Jones said technology is moving fast and “Colorado should be positioned to benefit from (the) technological revolution.”
Jones concluded. “We have a moral responsibility to our children to make the most of the clean energy revolution and fight the unprecedented global threat that is climate change. A warmer climate is already likely contributing to Colorado’s a major flood, droughts, record destroying wildfires. One in 14 trees across our state is already dead.
Jones also plans to run a bill next session to give local governments more say in where oil-and-gas operations locate, which the GOP majority also is likely to kill in its first committee hearing.