Ritter: Obama visiting Colo. to highlight energy
DENVER ” President Barack Obama has chosen Colorado to sign the sweeping economic stimulus package into law Tuesday because of the state’s potential for renewable energy jobs.
That’s according to Gov. Bill Ritter, who calls Colorado “a perfect venue” for Tuesday’s signing of the $787 billion stimulus bill. The bill includes investments in renewable energy sources being developed in Colorado, including wind and solar energy.
Obama signs the bill at the Denver Nature and Science Museum. Ritter told reporters Sunday that Obama chose Colorado for a visit to tout the energy part of the stimulus bill. When the bill passed Friday, Ritter says, Denver became a natural place to sign it.
“Colorado, because of the work that we’ve done in creating new energy economy and being able to create sustainable job growth, provided this template for the administration to say ‘This is what the package is about,”‘ Ritter told reporters outside the museum Sunday.
“I’d have to say that has everything to do with why it’s being signed here.”
Colorado stands to receive more than $130 million for clean energy and weatherization assistance programs under the plan, the Rocky Mountain News reported.
Obama’s signing ceremony is by invitation only. The museum closes to the public Tuesday for the occasion.
After Obama signs the bill into law in Denver, his western tour continues to Arizona. Obama planned to shift to the housing crisis with an announcement Wednesday in Phoenix, an announcement expected to concern plans to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
Coming with Obama to Colorado will be Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who left the Senate to join Obama’s Cabinet. The Denver Post reported Sunday that Salazar would come on the president’s plane.
Salazar told the newspaper through a spokesman Saturday that Obama “couldn’t have picked a better place to highlight how the bill will create jobs and build the type of clean-energy economy that is already growing in Colorado.”
The visit will be Obama’s first to Colorado as president, though he stumped here frequently as a candidate. Obama was last in Colorado Nov. 1, the Saturday before Election Day, when he addressed a rally in Pueblo.
Museum director George Sparks told the newspaper that Obama’s ceremony will be the first time a sitting president has visited the institution.
Information from: Rocky Mountain News, http://www.rockymountainnews.com
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