Green Initiatives & Environmental History for: Colorado
It was the discovery of gold that first brought large numbers of settlers to Colorado. In the early 1800s, a small farming settlement had been established, but following the gold rush, the mining boom began. The territory eventually started to grow by leaps and bounds. Measures proposing statehood for Colorado were introduced in the US Congress in 1864 which, however, got vetoed. A bill granting Colorado’s statehood was finally passed by Congress in 1876.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, canyons, plateaus, rivers, and desert lands.
The plains teem with grasses and as many as 500 types of wildflowers. Arid regions contain dozen varieties of cacti. Foothills are matted with berry shrubs, lichens, lilies, orchids and conifers. 13 plant species were listed as threatened or endangered, including those of cacti and milk-vetch, the beardtongue, and Colorado butterfly plant.
Principal big-game wildlife species are the elk, mountain lion, antelope, black bear, white-tailed and mule deer, mountain goat, and the moose.
Birds include the lark bunting, blue grouse, mourning doves and duck species.
Scores of lakes and rivers contain bullhead, salmon, and a diversity of trout.
19 animal species were listed as endangered or threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and amongst them are the Mexican spotted owl, bald eagle, gray wolf, whooping crane, black-footed ferret, and bonytail chub.
Colorado’s government, at every level, is fostering the use, production, and development of green technology. Whether motivated by the carbon emission reduction or by the desire for energy independence, the replacement of the energy production and distribution infrastructure, the switch in transport channels, and the reduction in energy consumption, Colorado is poised to be at the forefront of creating and producing that green technology.
Government action statewide has been very active in creating New Energy Economy through green legislation and policy initiatives. The statewide assessment of “green-ness” is in terms of carbon footprint, air quality, water quality, hazardous waste management, policy initiatives and energy consumption. The New Energy Economy ranges from renewable energy tax credits, support for energy management capability, support for biofuels, and expansion of renewable energy (solar, wind or biomass) requirement.
The most direct effect on green technology is through the fund grants to companies in their efforts to develop and market green technologies like building prototype hydraulic hybrid vehicle, converting standard hybrids to plug-in hybrids and developing technology to connect electric hybrids to power grids for supplying power.
Individual cities and communities are taking actions, creating ‘clusters’ of green-tech activity requiring new technology, funding and policy changes. At homes, they are optimizing energy usage and automating their appliances.
Efforts are on to create ‘Zero Electricity District’, generating as much electricity as it consumes.
With bold decisions and proper preparation in green technology, Colorado is in a position to make the lion’s share.