Colorado joins growing number of states tackling climate change |

Colorado joins growing number of states tackling climate change

DENVER – After successfully championing environmental bills in a legislative session dubbed one of the greenest ever, Gov. Bill Ritter is taking on climate change by hiring an adviser to come up with ways Coloradans can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are blamed for changes expected to sap the region’s water.Heidi VanGenderen joined Ritter’s staff May 1 after serving as senior associate with the Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado-Denver and Health Sciences Center.VanGenderen joked that her mother gasped at the length of that title and asked for a business card so she could remember it. Unwieldy title aside, the job’s focus was to bridge the gap between theory and practice.A brown bag lunch organized by the policy center was the start of what became Amendment 37 in 2004, making Colorado voters the first in the nation to require utilities get more of their power from renewable energy sources. Other states have adopted renewable energy standards by law or regulations.VanGenderen said she believes the 2004 vote will help her develop a climate change plan.”The real indication of people’s concerns and willingness to act as citizens in this blessed democracy of ours is Amendment 37,” she said.

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