Colorado House passed landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur clean energy project

DENVER, CO—The Advanced Energy Alliance today released a fact-sheet highlighting the significant growth expected this year in Colorado’s clean energy workforce.

The trade group, made up of both large and small companies in the advanced energy economy, estimates that Colorado’s advanced energy workforce of over 65,000 people will grow by 9 percent this year. It attributed the growth to Colorado’s commitment to clean energy policies.

Last session, the Colorado’s Democratic lawmakers passed numerous laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy and position our workforce to thrive in the green economy.

“Colorado is leading the way in creating jobs in the clean energy economy because we’ve set ambitious goals and lowered the cost of using our state’s abundant renewable energy resources,” said Colorado House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder. “Last session, we passed legislation to prioritize clean energy sources and reduce our state’s emissions by 90 percent by 2050, and we created innovative ways for utility companies to finance new clean energy projects. House Democrats will continue fighting to ensure every Coloradan has access to clean air and water and for an economy that works for everyone.”

“Pollution impacts every Coloradan, which is why we are committed to taking meaningful action to protect the air we breathe, our environment and our public health,” said Rep. Dominique Jackson, Chair of the House Energy and Environment Committee. “The legislation we passed will help create new jobs in renewable energy generation, and it’s clear the future is bright for this critical industry.”

Earlier today, Emilie Olson of Advanced Energy Economy, which supported many of the climate and clean energy bills that passed the House last session, said in a release that “Colorado’s forward-looking energy policies are paying off.” She added to the Denver Post that our state is “reaping dividends from its energy policies and investments.”

Speaker Becker and Rep. Jackson were the prime sponsors of HB19-1261, a landmark climate legislation that established pollution reduction goals in state statute to reduce Colorado’s greenhouse gas pollution by 26 percent of 2005 levels by 2025, and ultimately by 90 percent by 2050. As market forces and innovative policies change the state’s energy economy, state Democrats are also working to support the people impacted. Last Spring, the governor signed HB19-1314, Speaker Becker’s legislation to create the Office of Just Transition in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to support the livelihood and economic security of workers and communities affected by the transition away from coal.

Speaker Becker and Representative Chris Hansen, D-Denver, were also the prime sponsors of SB19-236, which was signed by Governor Polis. The new law established a financing mechanism to help utility companies retire coal-fired power plants quicker in order to transition to more renewable sources of energy generation. In addition, the bill directed the Public Utility Commission to evaluate the cost of carbon pollution emissions when considering projects in the future.

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