John Spezia: Vote yes on 37

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Amendment 37 asks the voters of Colorado to have 10 percent of their energy come from renewable sources by 2015. You have heard the arguments that this amendment will cost consumers too much money and that we should rely on volunteer efforts by the large corporate utility companies.

First, voluntary efforts have failed. Second, the increased costs are actually minimal and if we do nothing the price of energy will continue to rise and will be even higher in decades to come. Consider the following facts:

n A barrel of oil has gone from a 23-year average of $36 per barrel to $54 per barrel.

n As oil becomes more difficult to produce cheaply the cost per barrel will rise to $100 per barrel by 2010.

n The price of natural gas has doubled in the last two years.

n The true cost of coal is not covered in the current price. The price does not reflect the cost of coal-related health problems, the loss in worker's productivity, buried valleys in Appalachia, acid rain, mercury poisoning, negative impacts to our environment, nor smog to name a few.

n Compare the cost of one Kilowatt hour: Wind is 4.2 cents. Coal, 4.4 cents; natural gas, 6.8 cents; oil, 9.1 cents and nuclear, 11 cents. This does not cover the cost of health problems, disposal of spent nuclear material, degradation to our water and air quality nor the cost of maintaining a military to keep our oil supply lines open.

n The cost to keep our oil lines open in the first Iraq war (Kuwait) was $9 billion.

n The cost to keep our oil lines open in the second Iraq war is $200 billion and counting.

n Our trade deficit is up to $54 billion, a 7 percent increase, and our importation of foreign oil is 3 times that, $150 billion.

n The Lamar Wind Farm in Colorado saved customers $4.6 million in the first year.

n New renewable energy technology will provide new industries, new jobs and jobs that cannot be out-sourced.

n Ranchers and farmers will be able to provide wind sites and biodiesel fuel, with the potential to keep the agricultural community economically viable.

n Taxes on local renewable energy sources will go to local counties and not to other counties and out-of-state governments.

n The health of our communities and our environment are protected by renewable energy in a sustainable and energy independent process.

n We do not need to send our men and women into battle for our addiction to oil if we relied more on renewable energy.

n We would be more secure if we had local renewable energy rather than relying on foreign energy.

Vote for Amendment 37

John Spezia

Steamboat Springs

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