Persistence Pays Off On Energy Office Reboot
DENVER – After nearly a year of battling, Senator Ray Scott finally is winning bipartisan support for his effort to reinvent Colorado’s Energy Office, by eliminating bureaucratic clutter and broadening its mission beyond a too narrow focus on renewables. Scott’s Senate Bill-3, which passed the Senate today on a 34 to 1 bipartisan vote, tasks the office with promoting all energy options for Colorado, including coal, natural gas, renewables, nuclear and any new energy technologies that emerge.
Statehouse Democrats derailed Scott’s initial effort in the waning hours of the 2017 session, in response to pressure from organized green groups that refuse to concede that the office had become an irrelevant bureaucratic backwater. A streamlined and simplified version of the bill Scott brought this year is winning broader support, judging from today’s vote.
“Colorado is blessed to be an energy powerhouse among states, with a diversity of options available to us that other states can only envy, yet for too long our Energy Office was almost exclusively focused on a few technologies and ignoring all the others,” said Scott. “An all-of-the-above energy state needs and all-of-the-above energy office, which is what we’ll finally have if this bill continues to gain steam.”
“Senate Bill 3 is the product of months of collaboration with the Energy Office and Governor’s office, stakeholders and legislators, and the near unanimous vote of support is indicative of that,” added Scott.
In January, Senate President Kevin J. Grantham highlighted energy office reform as a top priority for Senate Republicans in 2018.
“Personally, I don’t care if it’s oil, natural gas, wind, solar, coal, nuclear, hydro, or if they find some way to harness the power of the hot air rising from the Capitol Dome, I am for a diverse energy portfolio in the State of Colorado,” Grantham said. “Let’s open the markets and encourage energy development in all sectors that keeps and brings jobs to Colorado while lowering heating bills for consumers in each and every one of our districts.”
SB-3 now moves to the Colorado House of Representatives for consideration.