Greener pastures in Colorado

Rural communities are ready for new economic opportunities from climate solutions

Colorado's rural communities are pioneering new projects and innovations to protect our climate and guard against global warming.

Our report from 2009, Greener Pastures in Colorado [PDF], details the further economic opportunities for rural communities under a comprehensive national policy to reduce global warming pollution.

Wide-ranging opportunities

On the Eastern plains, Colorado's 1,200 megawatts of wind development has already brought investment, jobs and increased tax revenue to towns like Peetz or Lamar. A national energy policy would stimulate further energy development that could bring these benefits to additional communities.

Legislation has also proposed a voluntary program where Colorado agriculture can generate "offsets"—verified and durable emission reductions in greenhouse gases—that can be sold to emitters subject to mandatory pollution reductions requirements, like power plants and industrial facilities.

A well-designed offsets program would reduce greenhouse gases, cut compliance costs for the industrial sectors subject to the emissions cap, and spur a steady flow of capital to agriculture.

Investment already paying dividends

Colorado's early actions to support renewable energy and stop global warming are already paying dividends, bringing economic development to Colorado and positioning our state as leader in the new energy economy. The report demonstrates how a national policy to reduce global warming pollution can expand these benefits for rural communities.