By PATRICK MALONE | email@example.com | Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:00 am
DENVER — The General Assembly adopted a resolution Wednesday recognizing the wind-energy industry in the state on the heels of a vote in the U.S. Senate that threatens to cripple it.
The resolution acknowledges that wind energy and associated industries provide 6,000 jobs in Colorado and generate $10 million in property taxes for Colorado counties annually. Rural landowners in the state receive more than $5.4 million in lease payments for the wind-energy projects on their property.
Sponsors Rep. Wes McKinley, D-Cokedale, and Sens. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, and Greg Brophy, R-Wray, all represent Southern Colorado counties.
“Wind is a vital industry to Colorado and important in creating Colorado jobs,” McKinley said.
In the House, the resolution passed 53 to 10, with only Republicans voting against it to show their support for traditional energy sources.
Rep. Keith Swerdfeger, R-Pueblo West, was not among them.
“The capital investments Vestas provided for our community, I think it’s important that they continue to be a viable company,” he said. “They are providing a renewable energy product that is helping our energy resource portfolio, and they are helping drive down the cost of renewable energy.”
Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, blasted the Republicans who opposed the resolution.
“It’s a shame some choose to represent special interests rather than Coloradans,” he said. “Colorado has the opportunity to be a leader in wind. Simply put, wind energy means more jobs in Colorado. All Colorado legislators should be on board and in support of this critical alternative energy.”