Eco-briefs | We’ll drink to that


We’ll drink to that

Twenty-six Colorado microbreweries have sent a letter to Gov. John Hickenlooper expressing their concerns with oil and gas development in Colorado and that industry’s potential effects on the air, water, land and communities, as well as their own craft beer industry.

“The incomparable beauty of the Rockies and easy access to public lands, clear-running streams, and clean mountain air are critical to our image and marketing; they inspire us to make some of the most popular beers in the world and they attract a lot of people to come try them,” the letter reads. “As a former brewer, you know that the most important ingredient in good beer is good clean water!”

The letter, signed by representatives from Boulder’s own Asher, Shine and Wild Woods breweries, also cites craft beer’s $446 million contribution to the state’s economy and the 6,000 jobs created. It closes by asking the governor to consider the same quality in energy resources as brewers have long encouraged among beer drinkers: Enjoy responsibly.

—Elizabeth Miller

Turn on the roof

Despite boasting the sunniest capital in the country, less than 1 percent of Colorado’s energy comes from solar power. So leaders from the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association and Environment Colorado are pushing a campaign to set a goal for Colorado to get 10 percent of its energy from solar by 2030.

The idea for Colorado’s Million Solar Roofs campaign was announced by Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association in February, and has since seen the support of some 240 organizations, businesses and elected officials, according to a press release from the association.

One million roofs covered in solar panels will contribute 3 gigawatts of power, according to the organization, in addition to creating thousands of jobs and cutting the equivalent emissions of 760,000 vehicles.

When Colorado voters approved a renewable energy standard in 2004, it was the first state to adopt such a measure, but now New Jersey has four times as much solar energy as Colorado.  

“Colorado is poised to regain a leadership position nationwide when it comes to solar legislation,” Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association Board President Piper Foster said in a press release. “We have the political will to provide Colorado’s citizens the opportunities they clearly want to install more solar energy.”

—Elizabeth Miller

Door ajar!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced new standards for Energy Star residential refrigerators and freezers that will see the appliances consuming at least 10 percent less energy than 2014 models. The energy cost savings could exceed $890 million annually, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 1 million vehicles. New appliances will also enable consumers to view their real-time energy use, manage appliances remotely and connect with “smart grids” so utility companies can signal to reduce usage during peak demand times.  They’ll even send alerts when a door has been left open.

—Elizabeth Miller