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Fmr Gov. Urges Country to Remove Politics from Energy Debate

Grace Hood

Tonight former Gov. Bill Ritter urged Americans to remove politics from the energy policy discussion. Ritter, who heads up theCenter for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, hosted a forum on the connection between national security and energy policy. 

It was co-hosted along with 4th Congressional Representative Cory Gardner’s office.

“We’re happy that Rep. Gardner agreed to co-host this as a sign that it’s important that we view this not as a political issue, but as an issue important to us as American citizens,” he said at the beginning of the event.

The forum featured two military admirals who discussed the topic and their experiences. Retired Admiral Dennis McGinn said that the country’s energy future right now seems out of control.

“The challenge to our diplomatic position as we try to bring the world together against Iran becoming a nuclear power, our exporting of $1 billion every day to pay for our addiction to oil-- these are threats to our national security, threats to our way of life,” he said in his remarks.

McGinn said a greater commitment by the U.S. to alternative energies, and building greater efficiency in energy and transportation fuels will be key to changing the landscape.

“There aren’t any single answers. There is no silver bullet to meet America’s energy needs,” he said. “But there’s a lot of silver buckshot. And that consists of a lot of good things.”

McGinn said that Colorado is leading the way in terms of natural gas and development of other alternative energies.

After speeches by the forum participants, the public asked questions—including whether forum participants would support some form of a carbon tax. Admiral McGinn and former Gov. Ritter said they would support one. But Mike Bennett, a staff member for Rep. Cory Gardner, said the tax would “increase the cost of doing business.”

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