Bennet Spotlights Colorado's Clean Energy Economy at Global New Energy Summit

Calls for Balanced, Forward-Looking Energy Economy

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today continued to highlight Colorado’s clean energy innovation and new energy economy as a panelist at the Global New Energy Summit in Colorado Springs.

Bennet contributed to a Senator Policy Panel at the Summit. He told participants that a balanced, comprehensive and forward-looking energy policy is essential if our country is going to compete in the 21st century.

“If we are going to compete in the 21st century economy, we have to build a strong new energy economy that looks toward the future,” Bennet said. “Colorado has a diversified energy portfolio that includes an abundant supply of natural gas and renewables like wind, solar, biofuels and hydropower.”

Bennet specifically discussed Colorado’s leadership in clean energy sector and the state’s ability to lead our country toward a cleaner energy portfolio.

“With our entrepreneurial horsepower we have already seen growth in Colorado clean energy industries, and with support from Washington, those burgeoning industries will thrive. The wind energy industry supports about 6,000 jobs in Colorado, and that’s why I continue to push for an extension of the wind energy tax credit.”

Colorado has long been a leader in a variety of clean energy industries, and the new energy economy in the state continues to grow. Colorado’s clean energy sector creates jobs twice as fast as the state’s job growth as a whole, roughly 20,000 Coloradans are employed at 1,700 clean energy companies across the state.

He also highlighted that Colorado is leading the way in clean energy policies by passing the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act, recent fracturing disclosure regulations and by adopting the first statewide renewable energy standard by ballot initiative in 2004.

The annual Global New Energy Summit attracts leaders from across industry, finance, government and science to address critical energy issues, such as natural gas, oil and coal, nuclear, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, transmission, storage, and smart grid updates. On the panel with Bennet was former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett of Utah, and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle served as moderator.

Recently, Bennet has led the push for an extension of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) because of the tremendous economic potential the clean energy industry holds for Colorado as new jobs, technologies and businesses are created.  Bennet has advanced bipartisan efforts, with Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) as well as with members of the Colorado Delegation, to include the wind PTC extension in several bills. He has recently partnered with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to introduce the American Energy and Job Promotion Act, a bipartisan bill to extend the PTC for wind and several other renewable energy technologies.