GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- - Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order committing the state of Colorado to climate action, and announced the state will join the U.S Climate Alliance on July 11.
One of the goals is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26% from 2005 levels by the year 2025. With a greater emphasis on clean energy, some said there are other kinds of energy production that may suffer, such as coal or oil. "We have those industries here, and it's a hard change to make, it's a hard thing for someone who's livelihood depends on the extraction of raw materials to say climate change is real," said Wyatt Hurt of Western Colorado Congress.
Some said clean energy will help diversify the local economy. "People worry about jobs, and that's legitimate, and that climate change and trying to reduce carbon emissions can hurt jobs locally. But, it doesn't have to be that way," said Scott Braden of Conservation Colorado.
A resource the Western Slope has in abundance may benefit from the commitment to clean energy. "Natural gas is clearly a form of clean energy. It's been the single largest contributor to the U.S. reducing it's emissions to levels that we've never seen before in relation to how fast our economies grow," said David Ludlam of West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association.
The executive order will also try to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector by 25% by 2025, and achieve electricity savings of 2% of total electricity sales per year by 2020.