Paul Potyen: Support SB 252


As a member of the Yampa Valley community who is concerned about environmental issues, I support Senate Bill 252. I would like to see a future that includes locally generated renewable energy. In addition, I believe that we should address our fossil fuel emissions by reducing the amount of coal used to create our energy. I also believe that passage of this bill will result in increased local economic opportunities. 

Paul Potyen

Steamboat Springs


Harvey Lyon 3 years, 10 months ago

Bring it on! Engineers need the work! Liberal Arts majors, well they can write about it figure out how folks are going to be able to pay for it once federal and state energy subsidation coffers run dry.

The single most valuable resource to a healthy successful society is an abundance of affordable energy. We need as much energy as we can possibly generate....period. You want jobs, they take cheap energy. You want electric cars, they need tons of cheap energy the likes of which you've never seen. You want clean water.....yep requires energy. You want heat in your home over the Be able to play softball at night on maintained ball Everything requires energy.....lots and lots of energy.

Over 40% of the US adult population doesn't make enough to pay federal taxes. Over 40 million are on food stamps and a nearly equal amount gets some form of energy assistance to heat their homes in winter.

And you want to increase the cost of energy so you can feel good? Not only that but you want to specify exactly what technologies shall be used to generate such energy as SB 13-252 does.

Lets dam Fish Creek, lets put wind farms along the continental divide, lets put in geothermic wells in all of our hot springs. Do you have a clue how loud a wind farm is or what it does to birds?

My guess is you don't have any idea how power is generated. You just want the light to come on when you throw the switch so you can find your cell phone and turn on your computer to write.

A tax to support Research and Develoment for making coal and natural gas "cleaner" might be appropriate. It would not be "sexy" but it would make sense. Windmills and covering the earth in chinese made solar cells/collectors does not. A national discussion and education on nuclear energy makes sense, a discussion of the facts of life. However, many of our politicians and journalists today don't wish to concern themselves with the facts.


Rick Pighini 3 years, 10 months ago

Tell Iowa, Texas, south Dakota, Wyoming, and California that wind energy will only cost more. Iowa itself produced 25% of there energy from wind. They started this transformation in 1983. Today they have generated over 5 billion in private investments in their wind power interests. I don't know where you buy your fuel but oil has more than doubled since January of 2008, prior to the sharp rise from the spring of 2009 at $1.89/gal to $4.00/gal. In November. Natural gas has doubled in the last 6 weeks. Exxon is the most profitable company ever, reported last week. I think we as Americans can afford to use as many sources of energy as possible. Ask south shore stagecoach if their energy is working and how much it costs. The oil industry and the world needs and will get compititoon for sources of energy, and just like we the people have invested in fossil fuels it's time to continue our investment in all forms of energy so we can continue to lead the world in energy. Any other discussion is short sighted and idiotic. Which is where most of these discussions end up. Mr. Diesel didn't use oil when he came up with his fuel, he used plants. And Henry Fords cars ran on ethinol. In a innovative society the transformation and inventive state of energy is what makes us great.


Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago

So other states have taken 30 years (1983 to 2013) to reach as much as 25% renewable energy is less than what Colorado electric co-ops are supposed to achieve (30%) in six years?

Colorado has had a long term program of encouraging renewable energy by having pools of money that is distributed to renewable energy producers.

Renewable energy can work, but it is not exempt from basic economics. Wind needs windy locations. Solar needs sunny places. If renewable is so heavily subsidized to be installed in inefficient locations then the cost of electricity will become unnecessarily expensive which will drive businesses elsewhere.


Harvey Lyon 3 years, 10 months ago

One of the biggest challenges, and there are many, to meaningful use of "renewable" energy sources is what happens when the wind doesn't blow, the sun doesn't shine or the reservior is low?

How do we store excess energy against times of low community generation?

Currently we have to keep many fossile fuel plants "spinning" at low power so that they can go to high power at a moments notice. We've built many inefficient and expensive fossile fuel and natural gas turbine plants that can start quickly.

MIT is working on developing a "two way" electric car charger that allows the car to charge during times of plentiful power but to "give back" its charge during times of low community power generation.

A bill that supported this sort of research and development would receive my support. Arbitrary "feel good" bills such as SB 13-256 does not and generally reflects the engineering ignorance of our elected officials.

Decisions such as this are complex and typically made by a bunch of engineers organized by the Department of Energy in accordance with a Govermental Energy Plan.

Alas, President Obama scraped the last plan without replacement. He's just throwing huge amounts of regulations and government subsidies at "Green Energy" proposals in hopes one will work out.

One glaring deficiency of this bill is it does not include any thought towards power transmission. Lets say we jump on it a build a "green energy" plant that provides those jobs the democrats are talking about. How is the power going to get from the plant to the people. Anything bigger than a residential sized project requires transmission lines. New transmission lines require wires and towers strung across the land. They require years of EPA study to determine all the potential side effects of their installation. They require years of public comment, folks don't like transmission lines in their back yards,

Its a rediculous bill proposed by engineering ignorant people that will do nothing to provide a cleaner environment or more available energy.


Rick Pighini 3 years, 9 months ago

No Scott you missed the point. Iowa has been trying to do it since 1983. This is important because during this time it was the state putting money and energy into innovative ideas while most of the country didn't care. Because they started so early they have up to 6000 jobs in the wind power energy field and pay farmers and land owners 14.6 million in lease payments. Their average cost per Kwh is .05-.08 cents. In 2004 they reached 5% but because of gov't investment they not only reached 25% but they sell energy to Wisconsin and Illinois. Things only take thirty years when nobody cares. I'm not saying I agree with the law. I'm saying these technologies work and the more we or private investors invest in this technology the better off we will all be. If the people in cities drove electric cars for there short commute and fossil fuels were used less for energy maybe those of us with gas engines would spend less at the pump. The leader in wind power is the oil rich state of Texas. Coal cost on average .04 cents a Kwh and natural gas is around .06. There are a lot of options out there and sometimes private industry that supplies a public good needs public investment to bring us to the next step. Just like oil.


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