Today is Colorado Gives Day, and in recent weeks I’ve been thinking about what RMI’s mission means to Colorado, and why Coloradans are so generous in their support of Rocky Mountain Institute. My sense is that RMI’s work to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure future has particular resonance with most Coloradans.
This is a state with a rich energy history and a truly unique heritage in energy exploration and production that has supported many of our communities and the state’s economy. But our citizens are also highly sensitive to the risks of continuing to burn fossil fuels, especially in the face of challenges like climate change and resource depletion.
Coloradans are acutely aware that climate change threatens all the things that make this a great state and a wonderful place to live and raise families. Most Coloradans dread the possibility that their children and grandchildren may not be able to experience the majestic landscapes, outdoor lifestyle, and winter snow sports that brought and keep us here.
Despite promises of cheap, reliable fossil fuels, Colorado is now becoming an energy battleground, and fossil fuels are in the crosshairs. Witness the recent battles between communities such as Lafayette and the oil and gas industry over issues such as fracking bans.
We are in the midst of shaping a new clean, prosperous, secure future, and Colorado is one state proudly leading the way. Colorado is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, many successful cleantech ventures, and NGOs such as RMI. Our wind resources are spectacular. We have one of the most aggressive RPS standards in the country. And we rank in the top 5 to top 10 nationally (depending on category) among the 50 states for solar PV.
Embracing a clean, prosperous, secure energy future can help mitigate climate change, support Colorado's economy, and move us beyond the boom and bust cycle that has defined our fossil-fuel-based economy throughout the state’s history. And RMI is helping to get us there. That's why Coloradans support us. We're local. The work we do matters. And that work will directly impact the people of this great state—whether via pilot projects with the City of Fort Collins, helping a dozen communities streamline their solar PV permitting and approval processes, or modernizing the Byron Rogers Federal Building in Denver to create a highly energy-efficient workspace for federal agencies and revitalizing the eastern edge of the downtown central business district.
On today, Colorado Gives Day, please join me in supporting RMI and a new energy future for Colorado, the U.S., and the world.
Colorado Gives Day is a statewide initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Colorado Gives Day is a local example of a broad movement in philanthropy to create a national day of giving. It’s in many ways a grassroots philanthropic version of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, except centered on giving back vs. consumption.