Friday, March 05, 2010

Losing Jobs In Colorado

The Democratic majority in the Colorado legislature does not get it when it comes to jobs creation.

In the energy sector, Colorado had a booming coal and natural gas industry. There is still plenty of the stuff left. Why are we not expanding and encouraging companies to explore? Good jobs will follow.

Governor Ritter's election ushered in an era of job killing measures for Colorado's existing energy economy. Instead, our state has tried to grab the elusive tail of renewable energies.

We are seeking millions of dollars into largely unproven "alternative" energy sector. Don't get me wrong, I would be for wind, solar, etc if there was a real market for these energies. There is not at this time. I still need petroleum for my car, natural gas for my home heater and electricity from coal-powered plants.

Alternative energy options are too expensive right now.

Below is an excellent summation of the illusion of renewable energy.

Why increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard is bad for Colorado

Senate Republicans stood up for jobs, the environment and consumers in one fell swoop by opposing a Democrat proposal that mandates utilities rely more heavily on taxpayer subsidized energy sources.

“This proposal may as well be called Colorado’s own ‘cap and tax’ bill because it is going to strangle our state’s economy and our pocketbooks,” said Sen. Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs. “Economic growth does not come from political mandates; it comes from increases in productivity.”

House Bill 1001 would mandate large utilities to get 30 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, mainly wind and solar. The Democrat controlled Senate approved the measure on a party-line vote, defeating nearly a dozen GOP amendments. The GOP warned that raising the Renewable Portfolio Standard would kill jobs, increase pollution and hike up energy bills.

As the state is forced to rely on renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, Republicans say thousands of jobs in the traditional energy sector will be put at risk. “Proponents of these mandates ignore the potentially thousands of good paying jobs in coal mines and gas fields that, as ‘disfavored technologies’, will be destroyed by the restrictions imposed by government,” Cadman said.

Republicans also railed against the bill for a provision requiring solar installation employees obtain labor union certification. “With unemployment hitting record numbers, it is astounding that Democrats would want to lock out a significant number of Coloradans from these positions,” said Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction. “The union carve out in this proposal is reminiscent of the sweetheart deal Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson secured for his state in the national healthcare bill.”

Consumers also have cause for concern. “As utilities struggle to keep up with the mandate, their added costs are going to inevitably be passed along to consumers,” said Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley.

Renfroe offered an amendment to HB 1001 that would have exempted households with income at or below the federal poverty level from higher energy bills incurred by the renewable energy mandates. Democrats defeated the proposal. “This vote against poor, at-risk families just proves that Democrats are bent on implementing their radical agenda, despite the strain it will put on the budgets of some of our most vulnerable populations,” Renfroe said.

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