John Hickenlooper on Energy & Oil

Democratic Presidential Challenger (withdrew, Aug. 2019); CO Governor


Institute wind & solar, as well as methane reductions

In Colorado, we're closing a couple of coal plants, replacing it with wind, solar and batteries and the monthly bills go down. We're building a network for electric vehicles. We are working with the oil and gas industry and we've created the first methane regulations in the country.

Methane is 25 times worse than CO2. We've got to recognize that only by bringing people together, businesses, nonprofits-- we will be doomed to failure.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Zero score on "350 Action's 2020 Climate Test"

The environmental group 350 Action released a candidate scorecard known as the 2020 Climate Test to assess presidential hopefuls on three major metrics: support for a Green New Deal, opposition to new fossil fuel development and refusal to accept money from energy companies.

Three candidates have made firm climate-forward commitments on all three issues:

Four candidates have supported two of 350 Action's three benchmarks.Three candidates have failed all three of 350 Action's tests, attacking the Green New Deal or making no firm pledges to work against fossil fuel companies.
Source: Mother Jones, "On Climate," on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls , Mar 27, 2019

Denounced Green New Deal, supports fighting climate change

Green New Deal: Wrote an op-ed in March denouncing the proposal, arguing that while he supports the "concept" of sweeping resolution to fight climate change, the Green New Deal "sets unachievable goals" and would inflate the government.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , Mar 26, 2019

Work with environmentalists & industry to get to solutions

Climate change is an issue that's going to disproportionately affect low-income people and people of color. We got the oil and gas industry to sit down with the environmental community for 14 months and we created the first methane regulations in the country that the oil and gas industry paid $60 million per year. It's the equivalent of taking 320,000 cars a year off the road. We announced that we were going to close two coal plants and replace it with wind, solar, and batteries.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Mar 20, 2019

Drank a glass of fracking fluid to show it was harmless

Mr Hickenlooper's focus on bipartisan co-operation may have won him political success in Colorado, but it also made him some fierce critics.

Some environmentalists, in particular, weren't all that thrilled that the former oil industry scientist sat down with energy industry executives for friendly negotiations. In one particularly memorable instance, the governor drank a glass of fracking fluid to prove that it didn't harm humans.

Mr Hickenlooper explained that he was trying to gain their trust--and that the talks led to real regulation of methane emissions. "They're mad that I did stuff," he said. "We actually did stuff. So sue me." They won't sue him, but they might not vote for him, either.

Reception at the SXSW conference: Mr Hickenlooper is an affable man, and that came across in his appearance. They have a saying about where nice guys finish, though.

Source: BBC.com on 2020 Democratic primary contenders at 2019 SXSW , Mar 12, 2019

Pro-environment but there's room for fossil fuels

Hickenlooper has served as an arbiter between oil-and-gas interests and conservation advocates. In 2014 he created a task force with members of both sides to remove ballot initiatives that could have severely affected the industry. He's pushed for stricter environmental standards that still leave the state welcoming to oil and gas. He brought together environmentalists and energy companies to make Colorado the first state to adopt rules to limit methane emissions from drilling.
Source: The Atlantic, "Antithesis" on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Sep 18, 2018

Close coal plants: cleaner air AND lower utility bills

The responsibility to be good stewards doesn't only fall on rural parts of the state. It rests with all of us. Xcel has submitted a plan to close two coals plants in Pueblo. This will clean our air and lower costs for consumers--and lead to greater investments that support twenty-first-century careers. What is it the critics don't like? Is it the cleaner air or the lower utility bills? Clean air matters.
Source: 2018 State of the State address to the Colorado legislature , Jan 11, 2018

Reduce greenhouse gas by 26% by 2025 and 35% by 2030

Gov. Hickenlooper declared that Colorado would join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition supporting a global climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Hickenlooper's order set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2025 compared with 2012 levels and by 35 percent by 2030. He maintained that cheap natural gas and increasingly competitive wind and solar power cost would allow the state to achieve the goals, which are similar to those set in the 2015 Paris Accord.

Source: ColoradoPolitics.com on 2018 Colorado Gubernatorial race , Jul 12, 2017

Drank fracking fluid to partner industry & environmentalists

In 2011, I met with Dave Lesar, CEO for Halliburton. Lesar recently drank an experimental prototype of a new fracking fluid to demonstrate how safe it was. Lesar said he had a jar of the stuff with him, said it was called CleanStim. Lesar explained it was made of all-natural FDA-approved ingredients, and, yes, safe enough to drink.

I unscrewed the lid and took a swig. The room fell silent. I turned to Lesar and said, "Well it doesn't taste very good."

Lesar quipped back, "I said it was safe to drink. I didn't say it was Gatorade." When word that I imbibed a bit of fracking fluid found its way into the media, it was portrayed as if I drank the oil and gas industry's Kool-Aid; that this old oil and gas geologist was a patsy for the industry. Truth was, I was attempting to facilitate a partnership--to foster trust and cooperation--between industry and the environmental community--in hope that we might agree to the toughest fracking fluid disclosure rules in the country.

Source: The Opposite of Woe, by John Hickenlooper, p.275-6 , May 24, 2016

Pursuing renewables; solar and wind

Upholding the highest public health and environmental standards, while promoting innovative energy development, is a cornerstone of our energy strategy. That means moving toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future and Colorado has already risen to this challenge. We're a leader in the pursuit and promise of renewable energy. Sunrun is bringing 800 new solar jobs to our state. And Vestas Wind Systems added 350 new jobs at their Windsor, Brighton and Pueblo facilities.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Colorado legislature , Jan 14, 2016

Colorado Energy Office: efficiency and renewables

Colorado Energy Office: efficiency and renewables Many scientists believe that our severe drought, the bark beetle epidemic and the terrible fire season are further evidence of climate change. While no state can address the issue in isolation, reducing pollutants and promoting sustainable development,
Source: 2013 Colorado State of the State address , Jan 10, 2013

Innovative drilling technology for abundant natural gas

Innovative drilling technology for abundant natural gas Colorado's economic welfare depends on how effective we are in developing all of our resources. Our physical welfare requires we protect public health and safety as we develop these resources. We can reduce carbon emissions, create good-paying jobs Innovative drilling technology for abundant natural gas communities to create agreements and oversee local inspections. What doesn't work is a patchwork of rules and regulations.

Because of innovations in drilling technology, cheaper, abundant natural gas is helping to make America energy secure for the

Source: 2013 Colorado State of the State address , Jan 10, 2013

Develop unconventional technology for extracting shale oil

Colorado's energy sector holds tremendous promise. We continue to build on the state's reputation as a leader in promoting solar, wind and renewable energies and developing cleaner fossil fuels. Colorado is blessed with abundant reserves of natural gas. With new discoveries in the Niobrara formation and technologies for extracting shale oil, we are poised to be a leader in unconventional energy technology as well.
Source: Colorado 2012 State of the State Address , Jan 12, 2012

Fracking opens new era of energy; but disclose ingredients

We also start the year with the country's strongest and fairest rule disclosing the ingredients in the "fracking" process. The old geologist in me is champing at the bit to go into detail about this process. Suffice it to say that this is a drilling procedure that has opened the door to a whole new era of energy development that can lead to more jobs, cleaner air and energy security for our country and the world. The ideas and innovations that created this revolution all occurred in Colorado.
Source: Colorado 2012 State of the State Address , Jan 12, 2012

Develop markets for vehicles that run on natural gas

Aggregating state and local vehicle purchases is a common sense way to close the price gap between traditional and alternative fuel vehicles. We are happy to participate in this partnership with other governors. Developing markets for vehicles that run on natural gas--an abundant domestic fuel--can help reduce dependence on foreign oil, enhance air quality and showcase how states are leading by example to tackle the complex energy challenges our country faces.
Source: 2011 gubernatorial press release #1251600834310 , Nov 9, 2011

As exploration geologist: focus on wind, solar, gas, coal

As both a consumer and major producer of energy, Colorado is uniquely situated to develop an energy policy that will become a model for the country. Colorado's strengths are our great natural resources (wind, solar, gas, coal), combined with world class research institutions, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and a business friendly environment. John's background as an entrepreneur and exploration geologist will help to foster the collaboration between our knowledge capital, entrepreneurial spirit and our abundant resource base to solidify our place as a world-class energy center. Our Energy Policy incorporates the State's environmental issues, its economic development and the cost to all consumers. It recognizes that energy production requires a viable water supply, which must be carefully utilized, and that energy demand must be reduced through conservation and increased efficiency.
Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign site hickenlooperforcolorado.com , Nov 2, 2010

Letter to Congress supporting renewable energy tax credit.

Hickenlooper signed American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension

Congressional Summary:Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2016 the tax credit for electricity produced from wind, biomass, geothermal or solar energy, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities.

Proponent's Comments (Governor's Wind Energy Coalition letter of Nov. 15, 2011 signed by 23 governors):Although the tax credit for wind energy has long enjoyed bipartisan support, it is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Wind-related manufacturing is beginning to slow in our states because the credit has not yet been extended. If Congress pursues a last minute approach to the extension, the anticipated interruption of the credit's benefits will result in a significant loss of high-paying jobs in a growing sector of the economy. We strongly urge Congress to adopt a more consistent and longer-term federal tax policy to support wind energy development, such as H.R. 3307.

The leading wind project developers and manufacturers are slowing their plans for 2013 and beyond due to the current uncertainty. The ripple effect of this slow down means reduced orders for turbines and decreased business for the hundreds of manufacturers who have entered the wind industry in our states. When Congress allowed the tax credit to expire in 1999, 2001, and 2003, the development of new wind installations dropped significantly, between 73% and 93%, and thousands of jobs were lost. Providing renewable energy tax credits in order to provide consistency with conventional energy tax credits is the right policy to move the nation forward in an energy sector that offers global export opportunities and the ability to modernize a segment of our electric production infrastructure.

Source: H.R.3307 11-H3307 on Nov 2, 2011

Other candidates on Energy & Oil: John Hickenlooper on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
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CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
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2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
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Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
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Page last updated: Dec 15, 2019