Oct 192006
Authors: EMILY POLAK The Rocky Mountain Collegian

More than 50 candidates have endorsed a new campaign to make Colorado more environmentally friendly.

The campaign, which is attempting to reduce the state’s dependence on foreign oil, lower the cost of energy and help the economy has been supported by politicians like U.S. Senate candidate Angie Paccione and state House candidates Randy Fischer, John Kefalas and Susan Radford.

“We are getting a great response from candidates,” said Will Coyne, program director of Environment Colorado, in a statement. “Urban or rural, liberal or conservative, candidates are telling us that creating a more secure energy future will be a goal for the next legislature.”

There are four points to the Plan for Colorado’s New Energy Future, according to Matt Garington of Environment Colorado, including the reduction of dependence on non-renewable resources, improvement of energy efficiency, increases in the use of clean and renewable fuels and additional public and private funding for research and development of energy alternatives.

“The plan came about because energy issues touch on so many people’ s lives here in Colorado,” Garrington said.

The Coalition for Colorado’s New Energy Future is composed of agricultural and labor unions, business groups and conservation groups including Environment Colorado.

The goals of the coalition include establishing a renewable fuel standard that will make at least 20 percent of the state’s energy sources and 10 percent of transportation fuel come from renewable sources such as solar and wind power, biodiesel, and ethanol by 2015.

The coalition is asking candidates to endorse the plan in order to get the message out, and coalition members say they have been successful so far.

“The Coalition for Colorado’s New Energy Future is excited to have broad bipartisan support for our plan,” said campaign manager Mike Bowman in a statement.

The coalition has not announced what kind of costs the plan would have for consumers, only that they would like to increase funding for the research and development of new energy sources.

“I think it is always good to move toward renewable energy, but there are other issues involved, like how much is it going to cost the consumer,” said Andrea Talley, a junior English major.

The plan is still in early stages, and many CSU students were not familiar with it but were interested in learning about it.

“It’s pretty important for the world in general. Al Gore’s book scared me,” said Ann Stecker, a senior technical journalism major. “I don’t think a lot of people know about it, including myself.”

Staff writer Emily Polak can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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