We are fortunate to live in a beautiful place but we must work hard to keep it that way.
Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"): oil and gas companies should not be allowed to pursue hydraulic fracturing in our neighborhoods until they prove it is safe. There are many valid concerns about water and other environmental damage that must be adequately addressed. At the same time, at the state legislature I will work to strengthen statewide regulations, inspections, and enforcement and push for more local control over drilling operations.
Green energy economy: Colorado has become a national leader in the production and use of green energy in just a few years. We should continue that progress by further encouraging green industries and again increasing our statewide renewable energy standard.
On-bill financing for home and business retrofitting: Right now, our county benefits from the EnergySmart home and business energy-saving retrofitting program but future funding is uncertain. My first bill in the 2013 session will be an on-bill financing program for retrofitting improvements. It will work like this:
*As a home or business owner, you want to install energy-saving improvements but you do not have the money to cover the costs.
*An energy audit determines your improvements will create an average utility bill monthly savings of 25%.
*You will have access to a low interest loan to cover the costs of your retrofitting improvements.
*The loan payments will occur straight from your utility bill in an amount not to exceed your utility payments before retrofitting. In other words, if you save 25% from the retrofitting, that 25% savings will go towards the low interest loan until it is paid.
*After the loan is paid, your utility bill will then decrease to reflect the energy savings from the retrofitting.
On-bill financing will greatly increase the demand for retrofitting programs across the state. It will create good jobs, save money for home and business owners, increase value of homes and businesses, and benefit our environment at the same time.