Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter has submitted detailed ideas to President-elect Obama about how best to create jobs in the short-term and make vital long-term economic investments through a transportation- and energy-infrastructure stimulus package.
In Dec. 9 documents sent to President-elect Obama – and also to Colorado's congressional delegation and congressional leadership -- Gov. Ritter provided much greater detail on general ideas he initially presented to the incoming administration last week.
"Colorado and the nation face significant economic challenges," Gov. Ritter said. "But these challenges also create enormous opportunities. Colorado's successes at building a New Energy Economy and creating new jobs can be a model for the nation. Through wise infrastructure investments, we can create jobs and hasten economic recovery in the short-term, and put the nation on a long-term path for growth that will allow us to compete and succeed on a global economic stage."
Click here to read Gov. Ritter's letter to President-elect Obama, and click here to read the more detailed document, "Colorado Proposals for a National New Energy Economy Stimulus Package."
A summary of Gov. Ritter's suggestions:
·         Make economic stimulus investments in highway, bridges, transit and aviation infrastructure projects. The transportation industry estimates that every $1 billion of transportation construction creates or preserves about 37,000 jobs.
·         Waive requirements for state matching funds and provide full federal funding for "ready-to-go" transportation construction projects. Colorado has about 160 shovel-ready projects valued at $1.4 billion.
Traditional Energy
·         Provide federal loans to expedite the construction of natural gas pipelines.
·         Commit $10 billion for clean-coal technology research and development, and another $10 billion to five pilot technology-deployment locations around the country.
Renewable Energy
·         Increase funding for the Golden-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
·         Provide research funding for innovations such as Xcel Energy's SmartGridCity project in Boulder, northern Colorado'sFort ZED project and the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.
·         Increase affordability of renewable energy systems for average consumers through the use of investment tax credits, increased energy efficiency tax credits and other means.
·         Speed the transition to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) through incentives to automakers, tax credits and funds to convert existing vehicles to PHEVs.      
·         Enact a seven-year federal-tax moratorium on all new renewable energy manufacturing facilities, and establish long-term purchasing contracts for solar photovoltaic systems on all federal facilities nationwide.
·         Develop and fund a bold vision for a renewable energy electricity transmission backbone akin to the interstate highway system.
·         Foster utility-scale solar and wind development by improving incentives in the form of production tax credits, investment tax credits and accelerated depreciation programs.
·         Increase appropriations from the current $34 million level to the full $125 million authorized level for the U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Program.
Energy Efficiency
·         Establish a $10 billion direct-install energy efficiency retrofit program for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.
·         Fully fund the $2 billion Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.
·         Increase weatherization funding to $1 billion.