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Vote yes on 37

Post Independent Opinion

cAmendment 37 requires that by 2007, 3 percent of retail electric service from large providers come from renewable energy. By 2015, that mandate would rise to 10 percent.Critics say the measure would result in higher monthly power bills. That’s quite possibly the case, at least in the short term. But our nation faces a greater risk if it fails to take the necessary steps to wean itself off fossil fuels.Not only are those fuels quickly depleting; some of them are most heavily concentrated outside the United States. That leaves us vulnerable to the whims of other nations, and puts us in a position where the lives of our men and women in uniform are risked protecting our energy interests. By comparison, investing a little in renewable energy seems like a bargain.And that investment could pay off in the long run. As fossil fuels become more scarce, their cost will continue to rise to a point at which renewable energy could be cheap by comparison. Amendment 37 could end up costing us less, not more. Unfortunately, the free market has been slow to invest in renewable energy.To be fair, there are exceptions, such as the efforts of Holy Cross Energy in the Roaring Fork Valley to make use of wind energy. However, utilities still find fossil fuels to be the cheapest and easiest means of power production at this time, and have given renewables short shrift.Colorado, and the nation as a whole, is better off taking the initiative on renewable energy now, instead of waiting until fossil fuels become too costly and then having to play catch up.Mandating use of some renewables will gets things moving in terms of expanding research and development, and creating more infrastructure. And if Colorado gets a jump-start on the rest of the nation, it could develop a renewable energy industry that could boom along with that industry when it takes off, as it inevitably will.Another thing we like about Amendment 37 is that it only amends state statutes, rather than cluttering up the state’s Constitution with one more thing that doesn’t belong there.But renewables do belong in Colorado’s energy portfolio. Amendment 37 will give this fledgling industry the jolt it needs.But renewables do belong in Colorado’s energy portfolio. Amendment 37 will give this fledgling industry the jolt it needs.


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