Saturday, February 23, 2008


WASHINGTON — Gov. Bill Ritter today urged the federal government to step up its pursuit of clean-coal technologies to better diversify the nation's energy portfolio.
"Blending cleaner forms of carbon-based resources with renewable resources like wind and solar will lead to a more secure energy future," Gov. Ritter said at the start of this weekend's National Governors Association annual winter meeting in Washington. "In Colorado, we call it the New Energy Economy."
The theme of the annual meeting and the NGA's main initiative for 2008 is "Securing a Clean Energy Future." Washington must get more aggressive in providing incentives and other public-private opportunities to spur advances in clean-coal, coal-gasification, coal-to-liquid and other related technologies, Gov. Ritter said.
Gov. Ritter touted this week's announcement that ConocoPhillips will build a new Global Technology Center in Colorado that will serve as an alternative-fuel R&D hub. He also noted that in the past year, Colorado has opened three new wind farms on the Eastern Plains, which are generating enough electricity for 250,000 homes. Two large Southern Colorado solar plants also began producing electricity over the past few months. And Denmark-based Vestas Blades will open its first North American manufacturing plant in Northern Colorado next month, adding 600 good-paying jobs to the local economy.    


"The New Energy Economy is not just about energy security," Gov. Ritter said. "It's also about economic security and environmental security. It's working in Colorado and it can work for the rest of America."
Later today, Gov. Ritter and the Western Governors' Association are expected to adopt a resolution calling for action within their states and as a region to speed the development and use of non-petroleum, alternative fuels and to improve vehicle efficiency.
Gov. Ritter also will present his Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids and other education reform efforts to the NGA's Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee meeting at 10 a.m. (Eastern) Sunday. The Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids would redesign the state's preschool, K-12 and postsecondary education standards around the belief that all students must receive a high-caliber education that leads to 21st century college or career readiness.
Gov. Ritter and the nation's governors will meet with President Bush on Monday and other members of the Cabinet throughout the weekend.