DENVER – Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Tuesday announced a new executive order that strengthens his commitment to making the state a leader in clean energy
At a news conference in Red Rocks Park, Hickenlooper said Colorado will join the U.S. Climate Alliance and will continue working toward its climate goals regardless of the federal government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
“Colorado’s connection to the outdoors and wilderness is central to our core identity. It’s really who we are,” he said. “Clean air and clean water is central to that brand, to our values.”
The new executive order doesn’t impose any new rules or regulations but instead aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost clean energy projects through existing market forces and technology, Hickenlooper said.
By 2025, the governor would like to see Colorado reduce its emissions statewide to 26 percent or more below 2005 levels. He also wants the electricity sector to reduce its emissions by more than 35 percent by 2030.
Other goals in the climate plan include building out a network of electric car charging stations along major highway corridors and reducing energy and water use in public buildings, thereby saving taxpayers money.
Hickenlooper said the executive order also lays out plans for helping Colorado’s rural communities that have long relied on mining for their local economies.
A new regional office on the Western Slope will help coordinate these efforts and a job retraining assistance program will help workers displaced by job cuts in coal mining and other industries to find new, high-paying jobs, Hickenlooper said.
“Throughout history, when our economy transforms, there are always winners and losers,” he said. “Hopefully not this time.”