Issue Position: Energy
Colorado is the most scenic, ecologically diverse, and resource-rich state in the country. Many people move to and visit Colorado because of the mountains, rivers, parks, and incredible quality of life. With over 40 state and federal parks, vast public lands, world class skiing, boarding, rafting, fishing, hunting, hiking, climbing, camping, golfing, and numerous other outdoor activities, Colorado has no peer for the outdoor life.
Joe Miklosi will work diligently to ensure that that Colorado's natural resources are preserved, protected, and cherished for generations to come.
Representative Miklosi supports the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and other reasonable, environmental laws that protect our health and preserve our resources.
It is also important to prepare for future growth. Colorado was the sixth fastest growing state in the last decade. With a population of five million people and a projected growth to 10 million people during the next 20 years, we need to be strategic about how we preserve our water and other natural resources.
Preserving Colorado's valuable water resources is one of Joe's highest priorities. For example, basin of origin sharing among Colorado's water basins, investing in water conservation efforts, incentives for water preservation appliances, and repairing and expanding existing dams instead of building new dams are important water conservation goals. The recent Aurora Prairie, water conservation project is an excellent example of ingenuity and water conservation at its best.
Making Colorado the Clean Energy Capital of the Country
Colorado is the second sunniest and the 11th windiest state in the country. We also have tremendous natural gas and geothermal resources. The economic benefits translate into jobs, economic growth, American manufactured products, and less dependence on foreign oil. Colorado can truly become the Clean Energy Capital of the country.
Today, Colorado boasts nearly 5,000 wind, solar, biodiesel, geothermal and renewable energy companies. Approximately 15 years ago, there were only 150 renewable energy companies in Colorado. Joe Miklosi wants to triple the number of private sector, clean energy companies during the next decade with incentives.
During the past four years, Colorado passed 57 incentives to help the renewable energy sector grow. One respected economic development expert said that without these incentives, the unemployment rate in Colorado would be 2% higher.
General Electric's recent decision to build a $600 million dollar, solar manufacturing plant in Aurora and employ nearly 350 people during the next few years is a testament to Colorado's vision for making this great state a clean energy leader.
At the heart of any emerging economic sector is solid research and development. Public private partnerships are at the core of this growth. The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, and dozens of oil and gas and clean energy companies have invested in the Colo-Laboratories -- an innovative partnership that has created research and development centers in solar, wind, and geothermal. This research is producing jobs.
One smart way to produce more private sector jobs is to invest in Colorado's Technology Transfer departments at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the School of Mines. Technology Transfer departments connect inventors and scientists with private equity, venture capital, and angel investors.
During the past few years, the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the School of Mines have produced over 115 private sector, renewable energy companies employing hundreds of Coloradoans.
Imagine how many hundreds of private sector companies and thousands of jobs could be produced during the next decade by investing in these innovative ventures? Colorado's world class higher education institutions should be job incubators as well as places of higher learning.
The competition in the clean energy sector is fierce. For example, during the last five years, China increased its world market solar share from 7% to 57%. The United States and Colorado can be the undisputed world leader in solar, wind, geothermal, and other clean energies by leading the world at research and development, technology, innovation, and good paying jobs.