Colorado governor-elect has US’ most ambitious renewable goal

(Climate Change News, 7 Nov 2018) Jared Polis’ promise to phase out fossil fuel electricity by 2040 would be the fastest target in any state, as the midterms returned mixed results on climate policy.

Colorado is set to join a growing list of US states setting world-leading climate targets in the face of federal inaction.

Jared Polis, a Democratic congressman from Colorado who was elected governor in Tuesday’s midterms, has promised the state will run only on renewable power by 2040.

That would phase out fossil fuel generation in Colorado even faster than in California and Hawaii, which both recently introduced a 2045 goal.

“In the absence of national leadership from the White House, it is up to states like Colorado to chart our course for energy freedom,” Polis said on his campaign website. He claims that reaching the target will create tens of thousands of jobs and cut energy bills by 10%.

In August, the state approved a proposal from utility Xcel Energy to close two major coal plants and mostly replace them with renewable energy. The plan would cut coal’s share of electricity generation in the state from 44% to 24% by 2026, according to the Denver Post.

Colorado is the sixth largest producer of both gas and oil in the US. Oil production in the state has quadrupled since 2010. In 2014, Colorado became the first state to set standards to control methane pollution from the industry.

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Climate Change News, 7 Nov 2018: Colorado governor-elect has US’ most ambitious renewable goal