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November 06, 2007 05:08 PM UTC

Ritter Gets Green

  • by: Colorado Pols

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Coloradans will have to drive cleaner cars, use less electricity and recycle more in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels in the next 13 years, under a climate action plan unveiled Monday by Gov. Bill Ritter.

The goal means C02 emissions would reach 92.9 million metric tons by 2020, down 37 percent from what would be produced if the state did nothing, according to the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.

Ritter’s plan calls for dramatically reducing electricity use, slashing the miles commuters drive to work, beefing up energy codes for new buildings and requiring that large emitters of CO2 begin phased-in mandatory reporting of their emissions.

His plan stops short of mandating tough clean-air standards for cars, but it does direct the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to begin examining use of such standards.

The plan also gives large electric utilities, such as Xcel Energy, latitude to decide how they will meet the 20 percent goal.

“It’s up to us to adapt and to set Colorado down the right path,” Ritter said. Coloradans, he said, were up to the challenge.

“The people in this state get it. There is greater and greater consensus and understanding of the dangers of global warming and the need to address it.”


16 thoughts on “Ritter Gets Green

  1. I congratulate Ritter….again….for his common sense approach and leadership on this issue. It’s not the whole enchilada, but it’s a start. My guess it will invigorate research, innovation, additional alternative energy sources and pave the way into a brighter and cleaner future.

    1. Keep in mind that Ritter is the same guy who is pushing loads of coal usage and a partial alternative energy here, while ignoring Nukes and other energy approaches.

      As I have said all along, following other ppl will not get us out of this. In fact, it will allow companies to focus on how to easily get around a block, such as Ford/GM WILL figure out how to get around being required to improve gas mileage. My bet is that before W. is out of office, there will be federal legislation that will seek to prevent the states from doing this.

      1. This is a great example of leadership and innovation, congratulations are in order!

        Windbourne- To add to your comment, I think we should just give up on everything… What a half-assed answer, and for some reason it is very similar to everything Republicans say on this issue. Hmmm lets spend the next two decades building nuclear and spend an insane amount of monies doing it, just so we can have another Rocky Flats at the end of the day. To top it off, I bet you and your ilk want to raise taxes to build this, right?

        Funny how the R’s can’t seem to put up a solid solution to anything affecting this country.

        Thank God, “literally” for folks who believe and act on science not wishy-washy rhetoric.

        1. No, it is not leadership. As I have been saying all Ritter is doing is following what others have done. No leadership, or innovation, in that.

          Not sure why you think that this sounds even remotely like pubs other than I am attacking the man’s agenda. I am offering up solutions. Pubs want to simply stay the current course which is what got us to where we are (with Colorado being a disaster). But Ritter is following the same paths as other states.  As I have said elsewhere, Ritter needs to focus our limited money on building companies within Colorado (which he is doing, just like CA and NM do), but he needs to pursue areas that other states are not. In particular, it is only recently that MA has started programs in geo-thermal. This is one are where we can excel. In addition, he should allow the rebate for solar to be for either solar or geo-thermal. As it is now, he is spending a small amount of money on items that costs TOP dollars. OTH, if that 2 million were invested into geo-thermal heat pumps he would lower our electrical needs AND would have less CO2. Right now, the solar solution does not take into account the use of Gas for heating, which is LOADS of CO2.

          Yes, PW. I know that you do not like me blasting your leader. But ask any pub here what they think about my opinion of reagan, W. and Owens. None of them like that either. And they will tell you (as will I) that I am absolutely not a pub. The days of honorable and good pubs died with Ford. Now, there are neo-cons controlling the party.

      1. Look for a Sunday screed on the Front Page of the Post this weekend about why Ritter is such a complete asshole for leading the way in alternative energy and greenhouse gas reduction programs.

          1. The Littwin article includes this paragraph:

            went to see Bill Ritter on Monday. He was doing an event at Coors Field, something about stopping global warming. Nothing important. But what surprised me was that there were actual Colorado businessmen there. [Aristotle’s emphasis] I thought the business world had deserted the governor. That’s what I read.

            Gee, I thought you said that the business community would abandon him wholesale.

            You’ll probably respond that “Littwin’s a nitwit” or something similarly mature, but it won’t refute what he reports.

  2. How about …

    Executive Order mandating that all state, government vehicles that are not emergency vehicles or construction vehicles must have MPG ratings greater than, say, 35MPG?  Is there a reason why state employees have to drive or state agencies have to buy large, gas guzzlers?

    Executive Order mandating that all state buildings be retrofit to eliminate air conditioning and have windows that open?  My first trip to Germany was to Deutsche Telekom’s headquarters.  The company opted to have only a few air conditioned conference rooms (for weiner Americans who can’t do without air conditioning) and most offices — including the CEO’s — were un-air conditioned but had windows that opened to let in fresh air.  Colorado isn’t the tropics or the desert, and most Colorado natives grew up without air conditioning.  If Germans civil servants can live with it why can’t we?  (There were banners in the building that said “Ozone macht krank” to underscore the company commitment to CO2 reduction.)

    Executive Order mandating that all state agencies reduce their energy consumption by 20 percent on the same schedule as proposed for Excel.  If Excel is supposed to meet this goal, why should it not be similarly imposed on government agencies?

    Mandate a 4-day school week.  The rural county I live in did it during the first OPEC oil embargo in the 1970s to save the gas used by school buses.  Parents, students and teachers never opted to go back.  Saves gas and emissions of a school commute and building climate control by one day a week (20%).

    Lower the state maximum speed limit to 55MPH.  Dropping from 70 to 55 saves loads of gas if Ritter’s serious about going green.  Alternatively, by Executive Order prohibit non-emergency state vehicles from going over 55 or 60 MPH to make the moralsuasion case to the public to slow down and save gas.

    By Executive Order prohibit replacement of state vehicles until they are at least X years old or mechanically used up (Y miles) or can be replaced by the vehicle that achieve at least a 30% (or you pick the number) increase in efficiency (MPH).  Nothing belches out more CO2 than the production of a new car to replace a perfectly good older car.  Again, my German example.  Deutsche Telekom execs drove me around in some of the oldest Mercedes I’ve ever been in.  Their argument was that it was wasteful to replace a car that could be repaired and maintained with a new one unless the new one was really much more efficient.  When he was Governor of California, “Moonbeam” Jerry Brown used an ancient Plymouth for his official vehicle.  If it worked for Jerry, why can’t it work for Bill?

    By Executive Order, require state agencies to devote a percentage of their annual travel budgets (e.g., 5%) to installation of video-teleconferencing equipment.  Less travel to meetings means less emissions, less gas, less wear and tear on vehicles.  The corporate world cuts back on travel by holding teleconferences and putting in teleconference equipment, why can’t Colorado state government?

    No suits and ties for government employees.  In Japan, businesses and government discovered that they could reduce air conditioning requirements (and lower electric usage) by eliminating men’s dress codes that included suit coats and ties.

    1. All sound ideas! I especially like changing the dress codes. This tie business has gotten really old. Has anyone else noticed? Four day school week…great idea! Open the friggin windows!! Another great idea.

    2. ..25 years ago that businessmen running some pretty big operations wore slacks and shirts outside of their pants. 

      One of the great failures of my generatin is that we almost got rid of the tie.  What a ridiculous appendage, just like some of the other fashion imperatives that we look at in pictures and just laugh.

    3.   One I would add indirectly but not directly energy related:  If not in practice already, initiate comprehensive recycling of office paper and cardboard.  Experience shows that if a convenient opportunity is provided, majority of people will voluntarily recycle, with attendant savings for landfills and new production costs.

        Following your excellent suggestions, if state govt leads by example and then provides accountings of savings both in carbon reduction and operating costs, it will break a path for other large organizations and businesses.

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