Bill Ritter: The Energy Economy

01 MAY 2014 Salt Lake City

Bill Ritter, former governor of Colorado and president of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE), discusses clean energy and the proposals outlined in the CNEE’s recent report, Powering Forward.

On the intersection of environmental and economic policy: “In Colorado, I knew we would benefit from having an energy policy that was tied back to environmental policy, and that we could demonstrate an economic advantage in doing so [through the attraction of new businesses to the state and significant job creation].”

On the role of the federal government in promoting energy efficiency: “The federal government is the biggest consumer of energy in America…the potential for the federal government to use less energy, to conserve energy and to [ultimately] become more energy productive is really significant.



Q: What was your first job?

A: I was raised on a farm, so my first job was feeding chickens when I was about five years old. My first paid job was construction.  My father was a heavy equipment operator, and I worked construction all the way through high school, college and law school.

Q: If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be and why?

A: It would have been Nelson Mandela. I lived in Africa when Nelson Mandela was still imprisoned. He was released from prison on Robben Island while I was in Zambia, and there was a true celebration. I have a big heart for Sub-Sahara Africa, and I believe that Nelson Mandela was truly one of the great leaders. He led through suffering, he led through sacrifice, and then he led through graciousness. I would have loved to have met him.

Q: What is your favorite quote?

A: My favorite quote is from Christian missionary and martyr Jim Elliot, who said, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."


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