Ritter's Performance 'Miserable,' Says Think Tank Chief

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John Caldara, President of the Colorado think tank the Independence Institute, says Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter has turned in a "miserable" performance on energy issues over the past four years. Caldara says Ritter has put the state at a competitive disadvantage and set off a time bomb for higher energy prices in the future by pushing for a 30 percent renewable energy standard. He calls the previous mandate of 10 percent "modest" and says Ritter gave the state just 10 years to meet a standard of 30 percent, a goal he calls unreasonable. He says the state should not have a renewable energy standard at all because that means playing favorites with some energy industries. He believes they all should be on a level playing field. He says Ritter used corporate welfare and subsidies so people he calls "politically connected" can sell their power. Caldara says rather than moving the state toward renewables, Ritter has forced it. He says Colorado has some of the nation's most abundant natural gas, coal and oil resources. But he says Ritter's policies favoring renewable energy have crippled those industries and will force working people to pay higher prices for electricity. He also laments that hydro electric power, much of which emanates from the snowfall on Colorado high peaks, is not considered renewable energy under state policy. Caldara says he's agnostic when it comes to how energy should be produced, but he believes that the market should determine that, not what he calls corporate welfare to some companies. While he acknowledges that all types of energy are subsidized, he says that renewables like wind and solar energy receive more money per kilowatt than traditional fossil fuels. He also believes that wind and solar are not sources of strong, consistent power. The state's rate caps that hold rate increases to just 2 percent, despite the 30 percent RES, are unsustainable, Caldara says. He says eventually, either the rate cap or the mandate will need to be changed. Caldara also argues that natural ...

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