Ritter: U.S. needs better energy policy
DENVER – The United States needs to develop a comprehensive national energy policy and stop leaving important issues like global warming to a patchwork of states, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said Tuesday.In a meeting with journalists from eight other countries to discuss his renewable energy projects, Ritter said the national energy bill President Bush signed in 2005 doesn’t go far enough.”While it contemplated how we would do some things around renewables, I think it wasn’t nearly serious enough and that it didn’t do the things that we should be doing as a nation,” Ritter said.Eventually, a “critical mass of states” will drive changes in federal energy policy, he said.Ritter said Colorado is considering joining five other Western states that formed a coalition to work to reduce greenhouse gases. He said Colorado got to the talks late and is reviewing the group’s memorandum of understanding.Separately, Ritter’s office announced Tuesday that Colorado is joining 29 other states in a group called the Climate Registry that will track and verify emissions of greenhouse gases starting in January.Ritter made renewable energy a key part of his campaign last year, and the 2007 Legislature, which wrapped up last week, passed bills that doubled the amount of renewable energy big utilities are required to provide by 2020, encouraged the construction transmission lines and promoted biofuels and energy efficiency.Ritter predicted environmental issues will play a big role in the presidential elections next year.”I do think that the person who is ultimately the victor in the presidential race will have to have articulated an energy policy in this country that speaks to the 21st century and addresses issues like climate change and global warming,” Ritter said.Ritter said Europe has a big lead in developing renewable energy, but individual states are rapidly catching up with plans like his to develop a new economy around wind farms, solar power and biofuels.Ritter spoke with reporters from China, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland.’
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