Gov. Hickenlooper signs energy office bill

DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law Thursday a bill that will change the shape of the Governor’s Energy Office.
“This legislation helps ensure our continued investment and research in Colorado’s energy industry,” Hickenlooper said in a statement issued by his office. “The office will promote clean and affordable sources of energy that are critical to the future of our state.”

The measure, sponsored by state Rep. Jon Becker, R-Fort Morgan, requires the agency to support all forms of energy instead of only renewable energy.

The law, which received bipartisan report, changes the energy office’s name to the Colorado Office of Energy while striking former Gov. Bill Ritter’s slogan “New Energy Economy” from current law.

It also alters the office’s mission to support “Colorado-based clean and innovative energy solutions that include traditional and renewable energy sources.”

The law also changes the way renewable and fossil fuels projects receive funding. Over the next five years, state severance tax dollars would fund traditional energy initiatives while renewable projects would receive general fund dollars.

In 2007, Ritter renamed the Office of Energy Management and Conservation, established in 1977, the Governor’s Energy Office. He also changed the agency’s objective from promoting energy conservation to renewable energy.

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