Rainey Center co-founder and CEO Sarah Hunt has an op-ed at The Hill today on the benefits "all of the above" energy policies are bringing to the Western United States. The article is co-authored with former Congressman Bob Beauprez, a rancher from Colorado who currently serves as the chairman of The Western Way, a nonprofit urging Western conservative leaders to deliver efficient, pro-market solutions to environmental and conservation challenges.As the article notes, "utilizing new technologies to make extraction of traditional fossil fuels more efficient" in combination with "adopting renewable energy resources that are becoming increasingly cost-competitive with traditional sources" are bringing noticeable economic growth to these states:
Fast forward several years and these new energy policies have harvested real economic gains, particularly in rural communities. For example, a Colorado rural economic development association recently studied the impact of renewable energy production on the local economy. Their results were surprising, showing the renewable energy industry was driving economic and job growth in rural areas desperately needing an economic boost. The report found that $5.4 billion in wind and solar projects have been built in eastern Colorado, with construction and operation of renewable energy power plants generating an estimated $2.7 billion in direct economic impact on Colorado’s rural counties.And today, the positive economic impacts from the new industry are multiplying. Talk with county commissioners in rural Colorado and they will point to renewable energy development providing a consistent and predictable flow of tax dollars for critical local services. Talk with the farmers or ranchers who hosts wind turbines on their land and they will share just how important consistent lease payments are to supplement an unpredictable agricultural operation.
Read the full article here: Western states lead with a balanced energy policy.