Jared Polis on Energy & Oil
Colorado is a national leader in green energy jobs
The private sector is already turning away from fossil fuels and looking forward to a clean energy future. To date, we've successfully secured commitments from electric utilities representing 99% of generation in our state to reduce emissions
80% or more by 2030. Colorado is a national leader in green energy jobs, the fastest growing job sector, precisely because we have embraced renewable energy.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Colorado legislature
, Feb 17, 2021
We all need to lead on clean air and climate
If we want to preserve our way of life for future generations, then we all need to lead on clean air and climate. That's why we have taken bold action to put us on the path to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2040. This is what the renewable energy
future looks like: innovating, growing jobs, growing opportunity, saving people money, and doing our part to reduce the harmful effects of climate change and local air pollution in the process.
Source: 2020 Colorado State of the State address
, Jan 9, 2020
Climate change threatens decreased snowpack for ski industry
Climate change is a scientific reality. It's real. There's no pretending otherwise for farmers and ranchers who are facing historic water shortages. There's no pretending otherwise for the 46,000 women and men who work in Colorado's ski industry and
see their jobs threatened by decreased snowpack. And there will be no pretending otherwise in this administration. We're going to confront this challenge head-on--not only because we must, but because we want to take advantage of the huge
opportunities associated with being a leader in the growing green-energy economy.
I launched my campaign for Governor at an all-solar coffee-roasting small business, just 10 miles from the Vestas Wind Turbine factory. I did so to demonstrate that
our commitment to reaching 100% renewable energy by 2040 is not just about climate change. It's about saving money for consumers with cheaper energy, and it's about making sure the good-paying green jobs of the future are created right here in Colorado.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Colorado legislature
, Jan 10, 2019
Increase regulatory incentives for renewables
Q: Consider climate change a critical threat, so limit the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? Support participation in U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to climate change action?
Jared Polis (D):
Yes to limiting greenhouse gases. Supports participation in Alliance. Introduced "100 by `50 Act" to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050.
Walker Stapleton (R): No to limiting greenhouse gases.
Says a major reason he is running is to "offer a full-throated defense of the state's oil-and-gas industry against [those] that want it regulated more tightly."
Q: Support government investment in renewable energy?
Polis: Yes. Increase regulatory incentives for energy efficiency & renewables.
Stapleton: No. Favors "free enterprise & open & competitive marketplace."
Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Colorado Governor race
, Oct 9, 2018
Big Oil fights overwhelming evidence of global warming
The Left attacks the Right, the GOP, and anyone who espouses free-market policies as shills for Big Business. The Left's narrative--that opposing regulation and taxation is a way of serving Big Business donors--is a believable one for many people.
Read the Democrats' attacks on the House floor during debate on the Waxman-Markey global warming bill. Here's freshman congressman Jared Polis of Colorado:
"We are faced with overwhelming credible and independent scientific evidence, and
we can see the effects of a changing climate in our daily lives. The delusion it takes to drum up facts and figures paid for by oil companies is truly reaching a new low.
Don't buy the falsities that big oil and big energy companies and spending millions to promote. It's time we take a significant step forward, shaking the special interests and act boldly for the good of our country."
Source: Obamanomics, by Timothy P. Carney, p.228-229
, Nov 30, 2009
Now is the time for carbon emission-reduction
After years of politically motivated denial, the Bush administration is reluctantly abandoning its “the verdict is still out” mantra. On the contrary, the verdict is in--global warming is the most urgent environmental issue facing our planet.
the time for Congress to pass effective carbon emission-reduction legislation. We must increase investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy research and technology, including the expansion of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.
Source: 2008 House campaign website, polisforcongress.com, “Issues”
, Nov 4, 2008
100% renewable energy by 2040
As governor, my goal is to accomplish our statewide clean energy transition by 2040 while saving people money on their utility bills and creating green energy jobs in
Colorado that can never be outsourced. For our climate, for our national security, for our health, and for our economic growth we need a bold goal of 100% renewable energy.
Source: 2018 Colorado Gubernatorial website PolisForColorado.com
Voted NO on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.
- Makes available for leasing, in the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program, outer Continental Shelf areas that are estimated to contain more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil; or are estimated to contain more than 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
- Makes the production goal for the 2012-2017 five-year oil and gas leasing program an increase by 2027 in daily production of at least 3 million barrels of oil, and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Young, R-AK]: The Americans suffering from $4 a gallon gas today must feel like they're experiencing a sense of deja vu. In 2008, when gasoline prices reached a record high of $4.11 per gallon, the public outcry forced Congress to act. That fall, Congress lifted the offshore drilling ban that had been in place for decades. Three years later, most Americans would likely be shocked to learn that no energy development
has happened in these new areas.
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
Reference: Reversing Pres. Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act;
; vote number 11-HV320
on May 12, 2011
[Rep. Markey, D-MA]. In the first 3 months of this year, Exxon-Mobil made $10 billion off of the American consumer; Shell made $8 billion; BP made $7 billion. So what are these companies asking for? These companies are now asking that we open up the beaches of California, Florida & New England to drill for oil. People who live near those beaches don't want oil coming in the way it did in the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, those oil companies are centered down in the Gulf of Mexico. People are concerned because those companies have blocked any new safety reforms that would protect against another catastrophic spill. We have to oppose this bill because, first of all, they already have 60 million acres of American land that they haven't drilled on yet, which has about 11 billion barrels of oil underneath it and an equivalent amount of natural gas. This bill is just a giveaway to Exxon-Mobil and Shell.
Voted NO on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
Congressional Summary:Amends the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from promulgating any regulation the emission of a greenhouse gas (GHG) to address climate change.Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
- Excludes GHGs from the definition of "air pollutant" for purposes of addressing climate change.
- Exempts from such prohibition existing regulations on fuel efficiency, research, or CO2 monitoring.
- Repeals and makes ineffective other rules and actions concerning GHGs.
[Rep. Upton, R-MI]: This legislation will remove the biggest regulatory threat to the American economy. This is a threat imposed not by Congress, but entirely by the Obama EPA. This administration wanted a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gases, but Congress said no. So beginning in early 2009, EPA began putting together a house of cards to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide. The agency began with automobiles, declaring that
their emissions endangered public health. That single endangerment finding has since been used by EPA to launch an unparalleled onslaught. The result, two years later, is a series of regulations that will ultimately affect every citizen, every industry, really every aspect of our economy and way of life.
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
Reference: Energy Tax Prevention Act;
; vote number 11-HV249
on Apr 7, 2011
[Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill is a direct assault on the Clean Air Act. Its premise is that climate change is a hoax and carbon pollution does not endanger health and welfare. But climate change is real. It is caused by pollution, and it is a serious threat to our health and welfare. We need to confront these realities. American families count on the EPA to keep our air and water clean. But this bill has politicians overruling the experts at EPA, and it exempts our biggest polluters from regulation. If this bill is enacted, the EPA's ability to control dangerous carbon pollution will be gutted.
Voted YES on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution.
Congressional Summary:Requires utilities to supply an increasing percentage of their demand from a combination of energy efficiency savings and renewable energy (6% in 2012, 9.5% in 2014, 13% in 2016, 16.5% in 2018, and 20% in 2021). Provides for:
Amends the Clean Air Act (CAA) to set forth a national strategy to address barriers to the commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration.
- issuing, trading, and verifying renewable electricity credits; and
- prescribing standards to define and measure electricity savings from energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. ED MARKEY (D, MA-7): For the first time in the history of our country, we will put enforceable limits on global warming pollution. At its core, however, this is a jobs bill. It will create millions of new, clean-energy jobs in whole new industries with incentives to drive competition in the energy marketplace.
It sets ambitious and achievable standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass so that by 2020, 20% of America's energy will be clean.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BOB GOODLATTE (R, VA-6): I agree that this bill has very important consequences, but those consequences are devastating for the future of the economy of this country. It's a fantasy that this legislation will turn down the thermostat of the world by reducing CO2 gas emissions when China & India & other nations are pumping more CO2 gas into the atmosphere all the time. We would be far better served with legislation that devotes itself to developing new technologies before we slam the door on our traditional sources of energy like coal and oil and and nuclear power. We support the effort for energy efficiency. We do not support this kind of suicide for the American economy. Unfortunately, cap and trade legislation would only further cripple our economy.
Reference: American Clean Energy and Security Act;
; vote number 2009-H477
on Jun 26, 2009
Extend through 2016 the renewable energy tax credit.
Polis co-sponsored American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension
Congressional Summary:Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2016 the tax credit for electricity produced from wind, biomass, geothermal or solar energy, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities.
Proponent's Comments (Governor's Wind Energy Coalition letter of Nov. 15, 2011 signed by 23 governors):Although the tax credit for wind energy has long enjoyed bipartisan support, it is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Wind-related manufacturing is beginning to slow in our states because the credit has not yet been extended. If Congress pursues a last minute approach to the extension, the anticipated interruption of the credit's benefits will result in a significant loss of high-paying jobs in a growing sector of the economy.
We strongly urge Congress to adopt a more consistent and longer-term federal tax policy to support wind energy development, such as H.R. 3307.
The leading wind project developers and manufacturers are slowing their plans for 2013 and beyond due to the current uncertainty. The ripple effect of this slow down means reduced orders for turbines and decreased business for the hundreds of manufacturers who have entered the wind industry in our states. When Congress allowed the tax credit to expire in 1999, 2001, and 2003, the development of new wind installations dropped significantly, between 73% and 93%, and thousands of jobs were lost. Providing renewable energy tax credits in order to provide consistency with conventional energy tax credits is the right policy to move the nation forward in an energy sector that offers global export opportunities and the ability to modernize a segment of our electric production infrastructure.
Source: H.R.3307 11-H3307 on Nov 2, 2011
$5 billion in tax credits for alternative energy projects.
Polis signed SEAM Act
Security in Energy and Manufacturing Act of 2011 or the SEAM Act of 2011 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to expand the qualifying advanced energy project credit by allocating in 2011 $5 billion of grants or tax credit amounts to manufacturers of goods and components (other than for assembly of components) in the US that are used in alternative energy projects.
[Explanatory note from americanprogress.org]:
The SEAM Act provides financial assistance to US manufacturing companies that want to retool their factories for the clean energy economy. By promoting growth of the manufacturing sector, this legislation has the potential to create badly needed jobs that can put Americans back to work.
The SEAM Act goes a step beyond just providing more funding. It amends the existing terms of the funding to increase its effectiveness. The new Manufacturing Tax Credit would prioritize funding for companies that provide supplies over those that assemble goods.
Drawing this distinction helps target support for companies that need it most. There's another benefit to supporting supply companies over assembly companies. Both types of companies promote economic development, but workers in the supply chain, such as tool and die workers, welders, and machinists, are generally paid more than workers in the assembly chain.
In addition to being an effective tool for economic recovery, the SEAM Act provides an example of a well-designed tax expenditure. More than 60% of federal support for the energy industry is now delivered via "tax expenditures"--government spending programs that deliver subsidies through the tax code via special tax credits, deductions, exclusions, exemptions, and preferential rates--and a recent hearing in Congress indicates that this trend is likely to continue. Problem is, many of these tax expenditures are questionable at best.
Source: HR.724&S.591 11-HR0724 on Mar 15, 2011
Voted YES on banning offshore oil drilling in Gulf of Mexico.
Polis voted YEA Interior & Environment Agencies Appropriations
Congressional Summary: House amendment to H.R. 5538, the Interior & Environment Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2017. This amendment would prohibit funds to be used to research, investigate, or study offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Heritage Foundation recommends voting NO: (7/13/2016): The Gulf of Mexico continues to be a very important asset for our energy future and it continues to produce significant amounts of oil and natural gas. Yet the Eastern Gulf of Mexico has not participated to this point despite its significant potential. A 2014 Heritage Foundation report said: "Excessive regulations and bureaucratic inefficiencies have stymied oil production and prevented the full effects of the energy boom." This amendment would block any potential progress that could take place by preventing the necessary work that would need to be prepared in the East Gulf for potential lease sales and eventual
Sierra Club recommends voting YES: (1/12/1974): The Sierra Club believes that no offshore petroleum exploration should occur unless and until the following conditions are met:
- Strengthen the Coastal Zone Management System.
- Lease sales should be prohibited in areas that possess:
- High seismic activity
- Fragile or unstable geological structures
- Proximity to particularly diverse or productive marine ecosystems, or marine sanctuaries
- Where visual impact of offshore structures would significantly reduce aesthetic values
- Where the risks are unusually high.
- Petroleum exploration and production must be subject to automatic, heavy fines for all oil spills regardless of cause.
- The Sierra Club opposes leasing of lands beyond 200 meters depth until international agreements [define] ownership of sea floor resources.
Legislative outcome: Failed House 185 to 243 (no Senate vote).
Source: Congressional vote 16-H5538B on Jul 13, 2016
50% clean and carbon free electricity by 2030.
Polis co-sponsored H.Res.637/S.Res.386
Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030 for the purposes of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, growing our economy, increasing our shared prosperity, improving public health, and preserving our national security.
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should--
- Whereas failing to act on climate change will have a devastating impact on our Nation's economy, costing us billions of dollars in lost GDP;
- Whereas extreme weather, intensified by climate change, has already cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year in recovery efforts, and this will only continue if climate change is left unaddressed;
- Whereas climate change will have devastating public health implications, including increased asthma attacks and exacerbation of other respiratory diseases, especially in vulnerable populations;
Whereas inaction on climate change will disproportionately impact communities of color and exacerbate existing economic inequalities;
- Whereas the transition to a clean energy economy is feasible with existing technology;
- Whereas the transition to clean energy will create millions of jobs and will increase our country's GDP and increase disposable household income;
Source: Resolution for 50% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2030 16-HRes637 on Mar 3, 2016
- Establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030; and
- Enact legislation to accelerate the transition to clean energy to meet this goal.
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