According to his official energy policy, Willard “Mitt” Romney wants states to have final authority over drilling and power generation. It’s basically his way of undermining the EPA, allowing states to trump federal regulation.
Romney is providing a preview of what a state-determined energy program could look like. In Colorado, a critical swing state, the candidate is convening a working group, an advisory committee, to consider energy policy. The group has 50 members. Exactly one of them represents the wind industry.
From the Denver Post:
The Romney campaign Monday announced a 50-person Colorado energy advisory committee with a heavy tilt toward the mining and oil and gas industries.
… [A]ll but six members of the group were associated with mining and drilling industries or former Republican officials.
Of those six others, three were from solar generators. And there, in the last paragraph, lonely Sean Tufts from RES Americas, which develops wind power as well as other renewables projects.
Romney has repeatedly illustrated his disdain for Colorado’s wind industry. But the industry exists — generating 467,000 megawatt/hours compared to solar’s 21,000 in the state in June, per the EIA.
In fact, year over year, wind is a far faster-growing energy source than fossil fuels. Here’s what growth between June 2011 and June 2012 looked like for Colorado and the U.S. (The amount of solar in Colorado last June was “not meaningful,” hence no calculated growth.)
The wind sector in Colorado is growing strong — and growing faster than in the country as a whole.
If Romney’s advisory committee were to accurately represent how much of the state’s power was generated by each source, it would include 33 people from coal, 11 from natural gas, five from wind, and one lonely solar rep. Still not overwhelming representation from renewables, but giving wind its proper due.
It’s almost like Romney’s not interested in what the wind industry might say to him. We can empathize. Being screamed at is not much fun.