Editorial: So long, governor
December 15, 2010
Bill Ritter’s recent comments endorsing Colorado House Bill 10-1365 underscore his ineffectiveness as a leader for our state. As his tenure thankfully winds down, the Editorial Board contends he became what he pledged not to be — the mayor of Denver and harmful to the Western Slope.
According to his office, Gov. Bill Ritter is scheduled to appear in Northwest Colorado today, but that trip won't include a stop in Craig and Moffat County.
No surprise there.
Throughout his ineffective term, the governor has done little to improve the lives of residents in our community, and in his last gasp at manufacturing a legacy, helped usher along legislation that could cripple our economy in the future, the Editorial Board contends.
Thankfully, his tenure is winding down.
In perhaps his wisest decision to date, the governor decided against running for another term, and in his place our state now has a chance to rebuild with John Hickenlooper.
But, judging by Ritter's comments last week on the potentially disastrous Colorado House Bill 10-1365, he isn't leaving office quietly.
Regarding H.B. 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, Ritter said the bill will make Colorado "a national energy trendsetter," and the bill is a "cost-effective" way to comply with federal clean air regulations while "building local economies."
Editorial Board members surmise the governor's definitions of cost effective and economic development involve increased utility rates and short-term jobs.
"The bipartisan Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act provides the path forward for Colorado to fully transition by 2017 from the largest sources of pollution in the Denver metro area — delivering healthier air, a steady flow of clean electricity, and a stronger clean energy economy," he said.
Notice the governor's comments, which make assumptions he can't prove, don't mention anything about Western Slope jobs the bill could eliminate, or families that could become victims to a faltering economy and this backdoor legislation.
He mentioned pollution in Denver, though.
We doubt newly unemployed Northwest Colorado residents will take the same satisfaction as Ritter with the air quality in Denver while they're leaving the state looking for new jobs.
And, a little advice to the governor: You might want to do something about all the cars in Denver; they might be adding just a little to the metro pollution.
In response to Ritter's comments, the Editorial Board agreed with Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers.
"Ritter ended up being another mayor of Denver and not a governor of Colorado," Mathers said.
Craig and Moffat County has a rich coal tradition and we're proud of this tradition and the people who work in the industry.
But, we also recognize the need for cleaner energy.
Had H.B. 10-1365 been a cooperative effort and not shoved into law, had it been studied, analyzed and developed appropriately, we could have lived with the fair and reasonable outcome.
But, that wasn't the case, and now many of our friends, family and neighbors face uncertain futures.
So forgive us for standing up for them and the future of our community.
Here's hoping Hickenlooper learns from the multitude of mistakes his predecessor made, and avoids becoming exactly what we all feared Ritter would be, and ultimately became.