But the House version calls for an excessive 15 percent of U.S. electricity to be generated from subsidized “renewable” sources by 2020, even though only 3 percent today is provided by bio-fuels, solar and wind power. Utilities that fall short of the imposed goal would be fined.
It’s no secret to our readers how we feel about renewable mandates, whether imposed by voters or government officials. We don’t object to the use of renewable energy sources; the more varied sources of energy we have, the less likely consumers will be held hostage by suppliers. It’s the idea that consumers will buy renewables only if they’re forced to. We’d rather see proponents of renewable energy educate consumers in an effort to persuade them to ask utility providers to use renewables.
And while we’re objecting to subsidies and tax breaks for energy providers, let’s include those benefits given to traditional sources, too. Subsidies and tax breaks hide the true cost of energy and don’t allow consumers to make truly informed choices.
We think that if The Gazette feels as strongly as it seems to that a 15% renewable energy mandate by 2020 is "excessive," it has an obligation to tell its readers that Mark Udall wanted the mandate to be 20% and inserted an amendment into the energy bill to that effect.
In one more year, the electorate will be deciding who should be Colorado's next US Senator. Voters are entitled to all the information about who is authoring policies that the Gazette calls "excessive" and "extremist."