News and Events

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

Dr. Tegen to Join Energy Leaders Webinar Series to Discuss Coal and the Energy Transition on October 20

The Center’s Assistant Director, Dr. Suzanne Tegen will join OurEnergyPolicy’s Energy Leaders Webinar Series for a panel discussion on Coal and the Energy Transition:  A conversation about reliability, policy, jobs, communities, and the economics of the industry.  The panel is scheduled for Wednesday, October 20 at 12 pm ET.  Participation is free; please register here.

Click here to listen to the October 20 webinar.


CNEE Publishes Report on 2020 Advanced Energy Legislation

In the U.S., states lead the development of climate and energy policies to drive and respond to the energy transition. Using CNEE’s free online tool, the Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker (AEL Tracker), the 2020 Year in Review report (pdf) summarizes the 342 advanced energy-related bills enacted by 46 states and the District of Columbia in 2020. An addendum to the 2020 publication, Seven Years of Advanced Energy Action: 2013 – 2019 State Legislation in Review (pdf), the new report highlights the trends and new policy developments of a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain shortages, travel restrictions, rallies and protests, and climate change-induced extreme weather events.

CNEE and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute Engage State Leaders to Identify Federal-State Partnerships

Forming a more effective and efficient federal-state partnership requires increased efforts to share information between various levels of government, adopt best practices across state lines, highlight gaps in capacity, and build relationships between federal and state officials. The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and CNEE conducted a series of conversations with state leaders and identified several specific policy priority areas relevant to infrastructure proposals:

• Climate Resilient Infrastructure Investments
• Building a Federal Navigator Service
• Just Transitions for Coal Communities
• Climate Capitalization
• Environmental Justice Community Investment.

The resulting report (pdf) provides policy recommendations for addressing each of these priority areas.

Webinar: Governor Ritter and Vernice Miller-Travis Discuss Environmental Justice

This recorded CNEE webinar features Governor Bill Ritter and environmental justice leader Vernice Miller-Travis talking about energy justice. They discuss what it means and how it can be incorporated into state and federal legislation as well as new federal support for environmental justice communities.

Opinion: “Build Back Better” with a Clean-Energy Economy, by Governor Ritter

Posted August 4, 2021, on

The U.S. Congress has an opportunity this summer to seize an unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to “build back better” from the pandemic.

Colorado U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and our Colorado delegation in the House of Representatives should all vote yes on and champion an infrastructure bill and budget reconciliation bill that center investments in a national clean energy economy while also battling climate change and ending environmental injustice. Together, these two bills are the jolt needed to jump-start Colorado and our nation into a new, post-pandemic economy.

We must see ambitious action on climate and investments because these will lead to a more vibrant, more equitable economy and end the economic upheaval that impacts the communities on the front lines of climate disasters.

I personally know that we can build back better by stubbornly focusing on developing a clean energy economy because we have been here before, we have seen it happen in Colorado, and we continue to reap the benefits.

I became governor just over 14 years ago, having run in part on the promise to build a New Energy Economy. The work we did from 2007 to 2010 — tripling the state’s renewable portfolio standard, recruiting clean tech businesses and passing dozens of bills designed to incentivize new ways to provide power — laid the groundwork for Colorado to become a model for others to follow.

Then we were hit by the Great Recession. From late 2008 into 2009, as the economy spiraled deeper into recession, we scrambled to stabilize Colorado’s budget and economy, not knowing where the bottom was or when we would hit it. At the same time, we were working with the incoming Obama administration to develop a rescue package that would stabilize the nation’s economy and set the state for growth.

When President Obama, with then-Vice President Joe Biden at his side, signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Feb. 17, 2009 — after touring the solar panels on the museum’s roof — we knew that brighter days were ahead.

ARRA included critically important investments in transportation, airports, broadband, water systems, housing, education and research facilities. It also included billions for energy efficiency and renewable energy, alternative fuels and fuel cells.

Combined with continued action here in Colorado — a total of 57 New Energy Economy related bills were signed into law during my service as governor — ARRA helped lead us to where we are today: robust and reliable wind and solar powering our homes and businesses, tens of thousands of Coloradans working in clean tech industries, taking meaningful action on decarbonization, showing the world what can be done and how.

Colorado’s commitment to electric vehicles, building electrification, renewable energy jobs and decarbonization remains a model for other states.

This summer and fall, our members of Congress should prioritize the development of a 100% clean-energy standard in the electricity sector; the manufacture and sale of zero-emitting cars, buses and buildings by 2035; justice and equity for low-income communities and communities of color by ensuring at least 40% of investment benefits go to these communities; and creating good paying, family-sustaining, unionized jobs.

The beauty of these proposals is that they take on myriad challenges at once — the climate crisis, economic opportunity for all, the need to strengthen the middle class, a long overdue overhaul of our infrastructure, and the need to position America for global leadership once again.

In the wake of the Great Recession, Colorado showed the country what was possible with the right mix of sound policy ideas, private sector innovation, bipartisan commitment, and federal government investment.

In the wake of COVID-19, we can “build back better” on the foundation we laid a dozen years ago. We have a partner in the White House and need supporters in Congress who share our state’s commitment to transforming our economy in a forward-looking and equitable way.

Bill Ritter, Jr. served as Colorado governor 2007-2011. He is now director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.

Search CNEE