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GOV. RITTER HELPS BREAK GROUND ON 2 VESTAS PLANTS; 1,350 NEW JOBS

Gov. Bill Ritter today joined Vestas executives, the crown prince and princess of Denmark and local leaders at a ground-breaking ceremony for two Vestas manufacturing facilities here that will create 1,350 new jobs.

“Today marks the third straight day of new-job announcements this week, resulting in 1,650 new jobs for Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said. “Vestas was one of Colorado’s earliest visionaries and pioneers in our New Energy Economy. Thank you, Vestas, for helping to lead Colorado forward and for working with us to develop a sustainable energy future and a sustainable economic future.”

The Brighton factories will be part of the significant manufacturing and research base Vestas – the Denmark-based wind system manufacturer – is establishing in the United States. One of the Brighton plants will produce giant wind blades and the other will make nacelle assemblies.

Vestas is spending about $290 million to build the two facilities, which will produce 1,800 blades and 1,400 nacelles a year. Brighton also will be home to a technology and production engineering office as well as a division of the Vestas Business Academy for employee training and development.

Vestas currently operates a wind blade manufacturing plant in Windsor and is building the world’s largest wind tower manufacturing facility in Pueblo. When all four plants are fully operational by the end of 2010, they will employ nearly 2,500 Coloradans.

Other job announcements Gov. Ritter took part in this week:

·         Monday: The Water Company of Pueblo, a high-tech water-purification company, announced it is moving into a bigger facility and adding more than 100 jobs.

·         Tuesday:  Ribbon-cutting and grand opening of Ascent Solar’s new world headquarters and manufacturing facility in Thornton, which will result in 200 new jobs over the next couple of years

Gov. Ritter Applauds President Obama's Inaugural Address

President Obama | 1.20.09- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Ritter issued the following statement after witnessing President Obama's historic inaugural address:

"This has been a spectacular event. Everyone I've talked to has described a deep emotional connection to Barack Obama as well as a passion for the kind of hope, change and promise he represents. President Obama was extremely articulate, honest and direct about the country's economic challenges, while also noting that we are a country whose character is marked and defined by resilience. He urged us to rediscover that core just as we have found it time and again over the course of American history.

"I was also struck by his message to the rest of the world. Under President Obama's leadership, we will rebuild a bridge between the United States and other nations. To our enemies, he vowed that we will not back down, and to those who wish to work with us, we will move forward together.

"I look forward to strengthening the federal-state partnership with the new Obama administration as we set about the difficult work of rebuilding our economy and overcoming the many other challenges facing America today and in the years to come

Gov. Ritter Statement on Interior Dept Investigation

Big Oil & The GOP: screwing us literally & figuratively- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Bill Ritter (Colorado) issued the following statement today in response to the federal investigation into allegations of gross misconduct by Interior Department and oil industry employees:

 

"This is obviously an extremely serious revelation. It warrants a thorough investigation, and if appropriate, the prosecution of anyone who has broken the law.

 

"The investigation also must closely examine how much this type of corruption has cost American – and Colorado – taxpayers. The oil-and-gas industry already benefits from taxpayer-funded subsidies, so the question is: how much has this scandal cost us in lost revenue?

 

"This is exactly why we need a federal government that partners with states like Colorado to craft a responsible energy policy for the future, not a federal government mired in corruption."

GOV. RITTER STATEMENT ON OIL SHALE P.E.I.S.

support the Natural Resources Defense Council- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Interior's publishing of a final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for commercial oil shale development:

"As the national debate over America's energy future continues, we must be clear that Colorado is committed to helping meet America's energy needs. We are issuing about 35 new oil and gas drilling permits a day. We are building a New Energy Economy that is bringing thousands of new jobs to Colorado. And our research institutions are developing cutting-edge, new energy technologies.

"But with the Department of Interior's action today, the federal government has once again failed to act as a responsible partner for Colorado. The Bush Administration is engaging in last-minute maneuvering in its waning days rather than developing a comprehensive, meaningful and responsible long-term energy policy for America's future.

"Finalizing an Environmental Impact Statement without any clear understanding of the environmental, community, economic and energy impacts of commercial-scale oil shale development is irresponsible, short-sighted and premature. This does nothing to address gas prices at the pump today and has the potential to do much more harm than good."

GOV. RITTER EMBARKS TODAY ON CLIMATE EXPEDITION

Norwegian Arctic- for the Grateful Web

Following this week's G8 Summit, during which world leaders addressed the pressing issue of global warming, Gov. Bill Ritter (Colorado) announced he is embarking today on a weeklong climate-change expedition to the Norwegian Arctic.

The expedition, which runs through July 19, was organized and is being hosted by the Aspen Institute, National Geographic Society and Lindblad Expeditions. Gov. Ritter will be joining dozens of climate experts, Arctic specialists and leaders of industry, government, culture, religion and philanthropy aboard the National Geographic ship Endeavour.

The expedition sponsors invited Gov. Ritter to attend, present his Colorado Climate Action Plan and participate in policy discussions throughout the trip, including a panel on innovative leadership and climate change.

"Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time," Gov. Ritter said. "This is a challenge that requires unprecedented global cooperation and partnerships. This expedition offers a unique opportunity to exchange information, strategies and insights with a very diverse group of experts and leaders, and to see the impacts of climate change first-hand."

Gov. Ritter issued the Colorado Climate Action Plan in November. The Plan calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

"Addressing climate change is extremely important to Colorado because our quality of life and so much of our economy – such as tourism, the ski industry, rafting, fishing and agriculture – are tied to our climate," Gov. Ritter said. "With these challenges also come opportunities, including economic and job-creation opportunities. Colorado's future very much depends on how we move forward, and it's vital that we have a leadership role."      

Over the past two years, the National Geographic Society's explorers, experts and photographers have participated on several Lindblad Expeditions trips, with a special focus on education and conservation. The Aspen Institute also has created a "Dialogue and Commission on Arctic Climate Change" to identify how action can be taken to strengthen and enhance responsibilities for a shared and sustainable future of the Arctic.

Some of the scientific experts on the expedition:

·         Sally Benson, executive director, Global Climate & Energy Project, Stanford University.

·         Robert Corell, director, Global Change Program, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, and former chair of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

·         Julian Dowdeswell, director, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University.

·         Professor Thomas Heller, Stanford University.

·         Henry "Jake" Jacoby, professor of management and co-director, MIT Joint Program on the Science & Policy of Global Change.

·         Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton University.

·         Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam University, Institute for Climate Impact Research.

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES SOLAR INNOVATION GRANT FUNDING

embrace solar energy- for the Grateful Web

Gov. Ritter today announced that the Governor's Energy Office (GEO) is seeking grant applicants for $350,000 in incentives for solar innovation projects. The "Solar Innovation Grant" funds are being made available through the Clean Energy Fund. 

"These innovation grants will help us continue to grow our solar industry by increasing development and infrastructure. They will allow us to continue advancing Colorado's New Energy Economy and bring good jobs, revenue and clean power to our state," Gov. Ritter said.

Under GEO's stewardship, the Solar Innovation Grant will be used to support programs that can overcome financial, educational and technical barriers and lead to greater solar electric and solar thermal technologies in the residential and commercial sectors. 

GEO is looking to fund projects from partners such as utilities, homebuilders, installers and system integrators, lenders and financial institutions, non-profits and trade associations. For the competitive application process, GEO will consider funding requests for the following purposes:

Education: Applicants will provide educational resources to targeted sectors with the goal of expanding the quantity and quality of solar installations in Colorado.

Integrated Design: Applicants will address opportunities to incorporate solar technology into the commercial and production home sectors in both new and existing infrastructure. 

Utility Programs: Applicants in this category will work to improve the viability of solar technology as a means to offset energy and power demands at the utility level. GEO is soliciting innovative solutions to promote solar technology at the utility level. 

Market Analysis & Policy Recommendations: Applicants will identify policy barriers to the wider implementation of solar technology in Colorado and present solutions in the form of a comprehensive policy report.  

Financing: Applicants will present innovative financing models that will increase the affordability of integrating solar technology in the residential and commercial sectors.

Individual awards will not exceed $50,000 and applications are due by April 30. To download an application, click here. To learn more, visit GEO's website:  www.colorado.gov/energy.

Gov Ritter Announces Incentives for Woody Biomass Projects

woody biomass- for the Grateful Web

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter today announced that the Governor's Energy Office (GEO) is seeking applicants for $100,000 in incentives for bio-heating projects that use community woody biomass.

The funds are being made available through the Clean Energy Fund for a "Community Biomass for Thermal Usage Program." Bio-heating projects support wildfire mitigation efforts, provide alternatives to slash pile buns, and build local wood-fuel markets.

GEO is seeking projects that support fuel-reduction, restoration activities and local collection sites and that demonstrate a long term availability of biomass supply. Also, GEO is interested in supporting projects that use annual forest thinnings, wood waste, including bark beetle kill, and urban waste. Although biomass can be widely defined and has numerous heating applications, this funding is only available for woody biomass for commercial and industrial projects.   

"Using Colorado's large woody biomass supplies is a clean way to produce heat while addressing problems associated with beetle kill and using waste products from fire mitigation efforts," Gov. Ritter said. "By offering financial and technical assistance to projects that use community produced wood chips or manufactured pellets, we are helping our communities participate in the New Energy Economy while addressing forest health issues and promoting local economic development. The long-term benefits are greater energy security, environmental security and economic security for our communities and our state."