Like many Coloradans, the military recognizes that our single-source dependence on oil poses a threat to our national and economic security. But investing in homegrown, renewable energy to power military operations around the world and bases here at home can lessen that threat. That’s why Colorado military installations – notably the Air Force Academy and Fort Carson – are at the leading edge of military renewable energy efforts.
And it’s not just the military. On the civilian side, evidence of a growing renewables industry are everywhere in Colorado. Wind is powering rural economies with affordable electricity while creating thousands of stable jobs – many of them for veterans. And rooftop and large scale solar projects are bringing good jobs and clean energy to the Rocky Mountains too.
Colorado’s clean energy leadership has been based – in no small part – on smart policy making by the Public Utilities Commission. In January 2014, one of the most successful policies, Net Energy Metering, came under attack. Net Energy Metering literally puts the power in the hands of Coloradans, permitting them to produce their own, clean renewable energy – and when they have extra energy, to sell it back in to the grid at the same rate they buy it from the utility company.
Following the military’s lead, Operation Free advocates support Net Energy Metering because it diversifies our energy options, making America less dependence on fossil fuels. At the same time, alternatives like wind and solar can provide more stability to an aging power grid, ensuring military installations can remain online in the event of power outage.
While the recent decision to uphold the policy demonstrates a reaffirmed commitment to the state’s clean energy future, we must continue to make sure Colorado’s policymakers listen to the people – and our military – who overwhelmingly support net energy metering.