The director of sustainability for Aspen Skiing Company on Monday trumpeted the results of a rural electric association board election that saw the local co-op flip to “a supermajority of progressives who support clean energy and energy efficiency, stable prices and fiscal prudence.”
Posts Tagged Intermountain Rural Electric Association
The state’s largest rural election association last week once again elected just one green candidate in a bloc of three members looking to reform policies currently geared more toward conventional power sources. Mike Kempe, a chemical engineer and research scientist for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, was re-elected to the Intermountain Rural Electric Association board by a margin of 2,892 votes to 1,870 for challenger John Dendahl. Kempe is often to the lone dissenting vote on the board of the IREA, which has just under 140,000 members in the Front Range suburbs between Denver and Colorado Springs.
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall has walked a fine line the last several years, advocating for new nuclear energy because of global climate change concerns while running the risk of alienating his Democratic, environmentalist base, many of whom still bitterly oppose nuclear power because of its legacy of mining pollution in the state. In the wake of the Japan’s ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo, more than just the so-called “dirty front end” of nuclear power – Colorado’s rich but sometimes toxic uranium mining history – is being called into question. The issues of waste storage at the state’s only nuclear power plant – the now-defunct Fort St. Vrain – and a lack of water to cool future reactors also are being hotly debated.
Mike Kempe has been an embattled figure on the board of the Intermountain Rural Electric Association the last four years. He’s arguably the only green-minded board member for a rural electric co-op famous for casting doubt on climate-change science and tenaciously resisting former Gov. Bill Ritter’s “New Energy Economy.”
Member-owners of the state’s largest rural electric association praised the recent signing by Gov. Bill Ritter of a law meant to clean up REA board elections around the state.
A pair of energy bills sponsored by Boulder Democrat Claire Levy have cleared both houses of the State Legislature and are headed to Gov. Bill Ritter’s desk for signatures.
One is indeed the loneliest number, especially when it comes to reforming a rural electric co-op board bent on quashing clean-energy and conservation initiatives in the name of dirtier-burning coal.
A rift over legislation aimed at making rural electric association (REA) board elections more transparent and fair for challengers has in part spurred one co-op to part ways with the statewide association representing Colorado’s 21 REAs.
Conservationists appear to be taking a more subtle approach to reforming the fossil-fuel-fixated ways of Colorado’s rural electric associations (REAs) this legislative session, introducing a bill that would daylight the co-op’s board of director elections, but not offering much more in terms of transformative legislation.
Officials for Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest utility, said Wednesday the Minnesota-based company is willing to consider upping the state’s renewable energy standard (RES) to 30 percent by the year 2020, a proposal highlighted by Gov. Ritter in a speech marking the beginning of the legislative session this week and at the center of the first House bill introduced yesterday as the session got underway.