Statement of Support for Empowering Colorado from George Douglas — Former Manager of Public Affairs, NREL

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March 25, 2017

Reliable, accessible and affordable energy to power our homes, businesses and how we get around is the foundation of modern life. Right now, where that energy comes from, how it’s made, moved, and paid for, are all in flux. Hydraulic fracturing, safe? Quake making? Too close to home? Coal, too much of a greenhouse-gas mess or too cheap and plentiful to ignore? Wind power, how to move its electricity from the prairies to the cities, and solar, cheaper now, but when will it be inexpensive and widespread enough to make a real impact?

To know enough about energy production, policy, use and impact to make informed decisions and choices can be daunting, which is why Empowering Colorado is so important. No one much covers these vital issues in Colorado, a state where oil and gas and coal are all produced, and a nexus for solar and wind power research, development and deployment.

Journalism as we knew it, with two competing metro daily newspapers in Denver, each with its own energy reporter, is not coming back. But the role it played in informing the public and political discourse is as necessary as ever. And, so, here comes Empowering Colorado to make use of newer communication platforms and tools to inform and contribute to the conversation on energy in a place where the all elements of the debate – environmental and economic – are represented.

To stand up a new journalism endeavor, of course, takes funding, initially from grant and gift-giving institutions. And, so, I would ask you to support Empowering Colorado in its infancy.

Unbiased, well-reported and well-presented information is vital to making the choices and compromises that lead to sound policy. At this time, and in this place, a voice such as Empowering Colorado needs to be heard.

Thank you for your consideration,

George Douglas
Former Manager of Public Affairs
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Golden, Colorado

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