States will lead on green energy while climate-change denying Trump administration pulls back fed initiatives.
The push to renewables and energy efficiency is alive and well in states – both red and blue, said Bill Ritter, former governor of Colorado and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy.
Many of the majority of states ruled by Republicans, as well as the pocket of states controlled by Democrats, are embracing the unstoppable energy revolution, Ritter told the Energy Times.
“The thrust has been to move clean energy’s agenda at the state level,” Ritter said.
Ritter will be the kickoff keynote speaker at the landmark executive energy conference, Renewables Rush, in San Francisco on April 5. He will be joined by the Hon. Guillermo Zuniga, a top Mexican energy official, and thought leaders from utilities, policy and entrepreneurial sectors.
Ritter’s group tracks all the major energy initiatives at state legislatures. Last year there were 3,000 pieces of energy legislation introduced in the states, he said.
“Red states are participating in a clean energy economy,” he said. “It is less politicized than in Congress.”
Case in point: a small rural cooperative in the politically conservative expanses of western Kansas, Midwest Energy. It is getting 27 percent of its electricity from wind “and wants to embrace solar,” Ritter said.
“In spite of what may appear as a clawing back of initiatives by the federal government, right of center groups, conservatives, are very much about advancing the clean energy economy,” Ritter said. “Cities and counties are moving a climate agenda, a clean energy agenda.”
Ritter’s center in alliance with The Nature Conservancy has built a website that tracks 38 clean energy policies in all 50 states, offering a detailed reported card on all states’ initiative on diverse energy strategies.