Background: The political conversation in the Democratic Party is focused on renewable energy, but reaching 100% would require major changes at the regulatory and consumer level. In Colorado, just 23% of the state’s power is generated from wind, solar and hydroelectric power, with the rest coming from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. The national picture looks similar. Achieving the goal will mean financial pain for a fossil fuel industry that employs more than 30,000 workers in the state, among oil, gas and coal. Colorado’s Democratic governor set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy by 2040.
Wants a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050
A: Hickenlooper says federal lawmakers should set a goal to achieve a 100% renewable energy economy with net-zero emissions by 2050. In the interim, he wants to see a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. He would fight to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, enforcing stricter standards on methane pollution and other harmful emissions and increase the development of wind and solar energy.
To achieve the transition, Hickenlooper wants a large-scale government-funded climate technology research, development and demonstration. He supports reinventing America’s transportation system by adding more electric-vehicle charging stations, increasing America’s electric grid efficiency and intelligence, raising fuel economy standards and improving the energy efficiency of buildings. He says the implementation of a carbon dividend plan will allow revenue generated from the price of carbon to be returned directly to American taxpayers as a dividend.
Supports net-zero emissions by 2040
A: As a supporter of the Green New Deal, Romanoff backs plans to cut in half the total greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors, including transportation, industry and construction by 2030; replace fracked gas, coal and other fossil fuels with clean energy sources by 2035; and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2040. His campaign laid out a multi-step plan to achieve the goals, including ending fossil fuel industry subsidies and putting a price on carbon. Romanoff has previously backed measures to protect the quality of Colorado’s air and water, bring wind power to schools and spur large-scale solar projects, biomass development and geothermal research.