The Promise: Reach 100% renewable energy by 2040
Progress: In Progress
The Quote: “We can reach 100% renewable energy by 2040 or sooner.”
The Context: When Polis talks about 100% renewable energy, he is referring to the state’s electric grid. As of 2016, the last year data was available, Colorado utilities generated just over 20% of their electricity from renewable sources — predominantly wind power — so the state has a long way to go.
But the state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, already has plans to get to 55% by 2026. Polis won’t remain in office long enough to see whether he achieves one of his top campaign lines, but he can be evaluated on the efforts he makes to spur Colorado in that direction. The legislature is considering legislation to help increase renewable energy projects but it is still pending.
Date Made: June 11, 2018
Source: Gubernatorial debate, 9News
Progress: Partial Credit
The Quote: “It will be the challenge of the next governor to make sure we have the local-control framework in place to give our communities a seat at the table and make sure setbacks statewide are enough, objectively and scientifically, to protect our health and safety.”
The Context: Local control over oil and gas regulations was at the heart perhaps the most contentious bill of the 2019 session, Senate Bill 181. Polis signed the measure into law April 16. It allows local governments to regulate where drilling can occur and its impacts on public health and safety.
Today, all local regulation of the industry is preempted by state law. The current state setback from oil and gas operations is 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools. Polis has supported 2,000-foot buffers, and the state’s oil and gas commission could adjust them in forthcoming rulemaking.
Date made: June 18, 2018
The Source: Democratic primary debate, sponsored by Denver7 and The Denver Post
Progress: In Progress
The Quote: “I will build a coalition on Day One with the business community, Republicans, independents and Democrats” to reform TABOR. … I’m confident that we can build that coalition to win at the ballot box, not just try and say we did but win.”
The Context: In the campaign, Polis promised to go to the ballot and win initiatives to increase money for education and transportation. He also wants to reform the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
He’s supporting other efforts, including a timeout on revenue caps, but this statement goes further to say he will create a bipartisan coalition and win at the ballot box. So far, he’s made partial progress by convening a stakeholders group before he even took office. The governor’s office did not make public the members of the group, so it’s not clear if it meets the parameters he set.
Date made: June 5, 2018
Source: 9News debate
And on the 20th Anniversary of Columbine…
Most Americans believe schools have become less safe in the 20 years since Columbine, poll shows