DENVER — The Colorado Renewable Energy Society honored Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass) with its first Randy Udall Award on Friday, September 6 during their sixth annual conference at the University of Denver School of Law. The Randy Udall Award was instituted in memory of Randy Udall, and it is given for leadership in energy and climate change policy.
“To be given the Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s first Randy Udall Award is entirely humbling as he was a personal hero of mine. Randy loved Colorado, and advocated to sustain our natural environment and use our resources wisely. My work at the state legislature for the past seven years has been motivated by similar goals. We live in a remarkable state that provides for us through its diverse geography and natural resources, which we must strive to keep in balance to ensure our economic future,” said Sen. Gail Schwartz.
Throughout her two terms as a legislator, Sen. Schwartz has worked to protect water, natural resources, and agricultural lands. Her record shows a history of promoting energy diversification and new renewable resources. In particular, she has sought to develop a wide range of renewable resources in rural Colorado in order to drive local economic development and job growth. Her legislation has included the 30% renewable standard for investor owned utilities, innovative mechanisms for taxation and finance of renewable projects, mapping of utility scale renewable resources, and promotion of alternative fuel vehicles.
Randy Udall championed renewable energy and its critical relationship to addressing climate change. He spent over a decade developing partnerships regionally between the coal mines, ski industry and rural electric utilities to address methane releases from coal mine operations. This year, Sen. Schwartz sponsored SB13-252, which incorporated coal mine methane into our state’s renewable energy portfolio as an eligible resource. Capturing and utilizing methane emissions from coal mines to create energy helps protect the atmosphere from the strong greenhouse gases while creating a new reliable clean energy source.
The Colorado Renewable Energy Society, led by Executive Director Lorrie McAllister, is a statewide nonpartisan nonprofit that works to move Colorado toward increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency while supporting advancement of new science and technology.