We’ve noted the Democrats’ opposition to HB12-1160, which would have added methane gas recaptured from coal to the state’s renewable energy portfolio. With Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Aspen) as the Senate sponsor, there was a good chance that the bill would have passed the Senate, especially once the Governor’s Energy Office gave it its stamp of approval. But since Senate President Brandon Shaffer never gave the bill a floor hearing over on the Senate side, we’ll have to make do with Sen. Morgan Carroll’s (D-Aurora) denunciation of it in April when speaking to the Colorado Interfaith Power and Light:
“There is a House Bill 1160 out there, which is a bill I would mark, ‘of concern.’ And what it would do is it would add methane gas to the renewable portfolio standard, and count a fossil fuel back into the renewable energy mix. So there’s two problems from my perspective with the bill: 1) We’re bringing fossil fuels back into a renewable energy portfolio and 2) it comes with an incentive and I believe that, basically, fossil fuels have been incentivized enough. Thirty percent is finite so what you’re going to have is fossil fuels competing with renewable energies in the portfolio standard.
“That is House Bill 1160. It is sitting on the Senate 2nd Reading Calendar which means that it can be brought up at any moment for debate. It’s already passed out of the House. There’s a very real chance that without citizen advocacy that this bill continues to push all the way through the process. So if you’re interested in protecting the Renewable Energy Standard and making sure that we’re not giving incentives for fossil fuels, that would be House Bill 1160.”
As Carroll (Vincent) pointed out in The Denver Post, the Renewable Energy Standard already includes methane captured from landfills and waste water management, and methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. If Carroll (Morgan) was concerned about subsidizing coal in particular rather than methane in general, it certainly wasn’t clear from her statement.
In the meantime, we wonder how Morgan Carroll’s constituents, current suffering under a stagnating economy and almost an 8% unemployment rate, feel about her renewables fetish that hits them in both the paycheck and the checkbook. Nov. 6 would be as good a time as any to let her know.