June 12, 2007 7:08 AM
Seeing red on Denver's green plan
Once a Rocky story on Denver's Climate Action Plan was bannered on Drudgereport.com, the city - and reporter Stuart Steers who wrote today's followup - were barraged with responses calling it "crackpot" and accusing the city of embracing a radical environment agenda.
The plan includes several controversial ideas, including making residents who use large amounts of electricity and natural gas pay higher utility fees, boosting insurance rates for people who drive long distances and mandating that homes be energy efficient before they can be sold.
"We've gotten a bunch of phone calls, but nothing like a good snowstorm," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.
E-mails to the city and the Rocky from around the country called the plan "crackpot," "loony" and even "stupid." Hickenlooper said the proposals are just ideas.
"According to most polls, 70 percent of the people in Colorado recognize there is global warming," he said.
Denver aims to be a national leader in reducing gas emissions, pushing alernative energy, beefing up recycling and changing building codes to promote conservation, reports Stuart Steers.
But the proposal also contains some ideas that may be unpopular, such as penalizing heavy users of electricity and natural gas and basing auto insurance premiums on the number of miles traveled.But the proposal also contains some ideas that may be unpopular, such as penalizing heavy users of electricity and natural gas and basing auto insurance premiums on the number of miles traveled.
The ambitious goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4.4 million metric tons by 2020, the equivalent of eliminating two small coal-fired power plants or taking 500,000 cars off the road.
Mayor John Hickenlooper has made the "climate action plan" a centerpiece of his second term in office. More than two dozen people from business and community groups met for several months with city staff to hammer out the plan. Many of them fear Colorado will be slammed hard by global warming, with more droughts and forest fires.
Are you willing to pay higher prices if you're a heavy consumer of electricity? Should insurance rates be based on miles driven? Should carpoolers and drivers of hybrid vehicles get parking priority?