Colorado lawmaker a longtime leader on energy policy
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — U.S. Senator Mark Udall has long been a passionate advocate for renewable energy. In recent months, he’s been one of the leaders in the fight to renew the wind energy production tax credit, which has been an effective mechanism to spur the growth of renewable power.
Next week, Udall will host a town hall Twitter chat to answer constituents’ questions about renewable energy and discuss the role it plays for our environmental, military and economic future.
For Udall, the issue of renewable energy is closely tied to national security. Here’s an excerpt from his Energy and Environment web page:
“It’s time to think about the future – our national security and our economy depend on it. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil and curbing the effects of climate change have been priorities of mine since I first entered Congress, and now I’m working in the Senate to see that these important values are reflected in public policy. I believe that there isn’t a silver bullet that will solve our energy problems – what we need is silver buckshot. That means an all-of-the-above approach that includes all energy sources, with a special emphasis on those that are clean and domestic. That means everything from renewable energy and energy efficiency to natural gas and nuclear power. This will help diversify the sources on which we depend, stabilize prices, create new jobs, and make our country more secure.”
Sen. Udall has also been advocating for a national energy strategy in the form of comprehensive energy legislation covering job training, advanced smart grid technology and improved energy efficiency in homes and businesses.
Udall has also sought a strong federal renewable energy standard mandating that power companies commit to producing a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources. Colorado, and at least 20 other states, use such a standard to encourage renewable energy production.
The federal standard passed out of the House when Udall still served there as a congressman, but under heavy lobbying from the fossil fuel industry, the Senate struck the provision.
In 2011, Udally joined with Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) to once again introduce a bill that would require a federal 25 percent renewable energy standard by 2025.