Ritter Discusses His Energy Policies

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Outgoing Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter tells Susan Mc Ginnis about his energy policies and what he's accomplished in his term in office. Ritter says he has strived to create an ecosystem that's about clean energy. He wants to make the state a hub for clean energy and set a template for the entire country. That includes energy efficiency, making government greener, building more renewable energy facilities and luring renewable energy companies to his state to attract jobs. He says that strategy can not only create jobs but cut imports of foreign energy. Ritter says he has signed 57 energy-related bills in his four years in office, ranging from an aggressive renewable energy standard to net metering, allowing residents who generate their own renewable energy to sell it back to utilities. He says shortly after he signed a bill doubling the amount of renewable energy that utilities were required to use from 10 percent to 20 percent, wind turbine manufacturer Vestas decided to locate in Colorado. Ritter eventually signed a bill increasing the RES to 30 percent for investor owned utilities. He says the remarkable thing is that the utilities agreed to it. Ritter says all the energy bills he signed were instrumental in Colorado's becoming the nation's fourth-leading state for clean energy jobs. He says the state's research facilities and tax incentives for renewable companies helped convince a German solar company that had never previously manufactured abroad to open its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Colorado. Ritter says Colorado is the first state in the country with a community college that offers green energy certificates. He says a number of private colleges have moved to his state and dedicated themselves to educating students for a green energy future. Of the 57 energy bills he's signed, Ritter says he's most proud of the renewable energy standard and a law that encourages utilities to switch older coal-burning power plants to natural gas. He says that bill was not just about carbon dioxide emissions, ...

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