In case you missed it, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper visited Golden, Westminster, Adams County, and Denver to see Colorado projects tackling affordable broadband, opening a brand new lab at NREL, and capping orphan oil and gas wells.
Hickenlooper joined Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and other local officials to tour new lab space at the National Renewable Energy Lab funded in part by the Inflation Reduction Act, joined FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks and Maiker Housing Partners to highlight affordable broadband, and visited an orphaned oil and gas well to talk about reducing methane emissions.
Check out the headlines below:
U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper met with oil industry and environmental officials Thursday at an “orphan” oil well to kick off a remediation program for 42 abandoned oil and gas wells in Adams County.
Adams County Commissioner Lynn Baca said there are more than 300 orphan wells in the county, and more than 1,100 statewide.
“Orphan wells are a constant nagging source of pollution, but they’re also ticking time bombs,” Hickenlooper said. “You end up with a lot of these wells that were drilled by small operators, people that didn’t have the resources to properly plug them and make sure that you don’t have methane seeping out. We respect that Adams County is leading the state and setting up the priorities necessary to find these wells, identify the resources, and then get the right professionals in so they get capped properly. Because again, doing this half-assed, it’s just a bad solution for everybody.”
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is set to receive $150 million in new federal funding to continue rapidly expanding its research campuses in Arvada and Golden. U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Democratic U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper visited Colorado on Monday to announce the investment, which is funded through the Inflation Reduction Act.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm joined Gov. Jared Polis at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where they announced the expansion of the NREL campus. Sen. John Hickenlooper was also on hand for the ribbon cutting.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm during a Monday visit to Colorado announced a $150 million investment in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis and NREL director Martin Keller also participated in the announcement, which took place at the NREL campus in Golden.
Granholm said that the investment helps make the U.S. a leader in renewable energy and future innovations. She highlighted Colorado’s contribution to this, saying Hickenlooper has been “one of President (Joe) Biden’s strongest allies” in the administration’s effort to achieve 100% clean electricity by 2050. Granholm also said Polis has been aligned with Biden’s agenda, orienting Colorado’s clean energy efforts to federal policy.
Hickenlooper and Keller both said creating further diversity in STEM is vital for future innovations. According to Keller, the First Solar investment will enable collaboration with universities in Colorado, such as the School of Mines, but also community colleges, to make workforce training accessible at various levels.
“That’s the other thing that I love about this project,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s about innovation. It’s also about equity and making sure that we’re getting every young, curious mind.”
Granholm was part of a delegation, including Gov. Jared Polis and Sen. John Hickenlooper, that visited NREL to dedicate the Research and Innovation Laboratory, which will house additional lab space to support “cross-disciplinary” research on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
“We’re going to all have to stretch if we’re going to be successful and move forward, push our way up and deal with these problems,” said U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado). “I’ve never been more optimistic in my life than right now that we have the right energy sources, vision and will.”