SB252, the bill to double the renewable energy mandate for rural electric co-ops, is shaping up to be a major political headache for Governor Hickenlooper.

It’s quickly become a major inflection point in Hickenlooper’s balancing act, pitting his pledge to govern from the political center against his hardcore environmentalist base.

On one side of the choice are environmentalists who bring lots of mother’s milk to Hick’s Democratic party…big bucks. From Clean Water Action to Conservation Colorado to the League of Conservation Voters, the environmentalist movement in Colorado is both well-funded and well-armed with armies of costumed protesters and canvassers ready to do political battle on behalf of Democratic candidates.

On the other side is everyone else…rural Colorado, ratepayers, the business community, companies that keep the lights on, and even unions and the liberal Denver Post editorial board.

Strange bedfellows, indeed, opposition to the bill has created.

Hick has already angered the environmentalist movement by swilling fracking fluid and threatening a veto on a bill to ban oil and gas companies from having a seat on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Will he have the political wherewithal to anger them again and veto SB252?

UPDATE: A reader writes in to note that Hickenlooper had a 94% approval rating among self-described “very liberal” voters according to the latest PPP Colorado poll. That would imply that while a veto of SB252 would anger the environmental elites, he has plenty of political wiggle room with the rank and file.