Center for the New Energy Economy staff and the 2019 Legislative Academy Attendees.
The Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) completed its third annual Clean Energy Legislative Academy last month.
Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and his team hosted the largest cohort yet – 27 Republican and Democratic state legislators from 16 states across the nation. Attendees came away with a keen understanding of clean energy policy opportunities for their state and brought home the tools necessary to draft and pass clean energy legislation in a future session.
“Now more than ever, state legislatures are where the most influential energy policy action is taking place,” Ritter said. “Attendance increased, and bipartisanship improved for the Academy this year, just as occurred the year before, revealing there remains enthusiasm for this important work. After the 2019 Academy, attendees expressed an urgency for creating bipartisan clean energy policy solutions, and we are honored to be a part of this effort.”
Legislators and legislative staff from across the country were inspired and invigorated by the presentations and content of the Academy. Attendee Chris Pope of the Montana House of Representatives described the Academy as a “resource-rich, collaborative experience with fellow legislators from across the political spectrum, who share a vision for transformative state energy policy in support of a clean energy future.”
Other attendees noted that the Academy gave them “a much deeper understanding of clean energy,” “a lot of bill ideas,” and “connections with other legislators and experts.” Attendees also emphasized their plans to continue to utilize CNEE’s free, public online resources, such as the Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker and the State Policy Opportunity Tracker.
The goals of the Clean Energy Legislative Academy are to teach state legislators and their staff about evolving clean energy policy issues, help them identify clean energy policy opportunities in their state, and provide access to valuable resources and connections to experts. Overall, 75 state legislators have represented 34 states at the annual Academies.
This year, the Academy’s keynote speakers included Jeff Lyng of Xcel Energy, Leonard Jones of Moody’s Public Finance Group, Larry Ward of the Conservative Energy Network, Mark Fleming of Conservatives for Clean Energy, and Walt Musial of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The 2019 educational workshops focused on energy storage, electric vehicles, grid modernization, and renewable energy. CNEE hosted the Academy in two sessions during August and September of 2019, in Breckenridge, Colorado. Staff will begin recruiting for the 2020 Legislative Academy in early November.
The Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University was founded by Ritter, Colorado’s 41st governor, in 2011. Ritter and a team of energy and environmental policy experts work to educate, convene, and inspire decision-makers to create policies that facilitate America’s equitable transition to a clean energy economy.