Udall Welcomes President's Push to Combat Global Warming, Cites Colorado Jobs, Wildfires as Reasons for Urgent Action
Proposals Build on Successful Colorado Strategy of Balanced Energy Development
Mark Udall welcomed President Obama's remarks today renewing efforts to address global warming. Udall said the wildfires burning throughout Colorado underscore the urgency for the nation to reduce carbon emissions and address warming trends.
"Global warming is one of the defining challenges of our time, and how we handle the issue will have profound implications for the planet we leave our children. This is clear in Colorado, where rising temperatures and ongoing drought have exacerbated recent wildfires that threaten entire communities and our critical water supplies," Udall said. "That's why I strongly support the President's announcement today and see it as a call to action for Congress to finally take concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and invest in a balanced approach to securing our energy needs. This approach was pioneered here in Colorado, where our renewable energy industry has created thousands of good-paying jobs by tapping into our abundant supplies of wind and solar energy. I look forward to continuing my efforts to push the U.S. Congress to finally take bold action, which should include putting some sort of common-sense price on carbon. A sensible policy also means responsibly developing our vast renewable and traditional energy sources--and making Colorado's balanced energy strategy a model for the nation."
Udall has a long history of promoting policies that encourage the development of both traditional and renewable energy resources, to reduce global warming, and to protect Colorado's clean air and clean water. For example, Udall introduced a bipartisan bill earlier this year to streamline the permit process for renewable energy projects on public lands and reinvest in local communities. Currently, obtaining permits for solar and wind projects on public lands is needlessly cumbersome and can take several years. The president's plan would complement Udall's proposal to streamline the permitting process and make it easier for companies to make long-term plans. The changes will also increase local governments' revenue and certainty by establishing a more predictable and direct royalty system from renewables that will support conservation efforts.
Udall, a leader in promoting a balanced energy strategy, also recently introduced the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act. He also has promoted how Colorado's balanced approach to energy is a model for the nation through his ongoing Energy Outreach Tour. As part of his work to highlight Colorado's energy successes, he has visited the National Wind Technology Center in Louisville and the Elk Creek Mine and methane-capture project in Somerset, among many other sites.