Governor Hickenlooper and I are just 7 years apart in age, but our lives have vastly different roots.
His are the Philadelphia Main Line culture. Affluent by heritage and Eastern liberal by taste and inclination.
Mine are Great American Plains farm families. My grandfather went bankrupt in the 1920s farm depression. My mom, born on the family farm, was orphaned before her teen years as the Great Depression unfolded. She told stories about electricity coming to the farm. I attended college only because of a full scholarship.
I have relatives who belong to the sturdy yeoman culture that Hickenlooper’s class calls “flyover America.” They are the people of my heart. Drought, hailstorm, changing government policy … those bring pain to farmers and small town Americans.
Hickenlooper just increased their pain by signing the rural energy bill that will raise their rates and force huge new capital costs for those REA providers.
Poverty is different in rural Colorado than in urban Denver. A rural family may have food growing behind the house, but cash? It’s in short supply. They have nothing to match Denver’s assistance efforts.
For urbanites, rural Colorado’s problems are “out of sight, out of mind.”
So why did the governor sign that well-intentioned, evil-bringing bill?
The enviro crowd called the shots through their huge money: $4 million in Colorado campaign cash in 2008 alone (for Democrats and liberal causes). His reelection efforts need their open wallets … which signing delivered.
This law will do more than depress the rural economy. Europe has already swallowed this evil medicine. While American electricity prices have declined since 2005, theirs have gone up 40%. Relatedly, EU unemployment sat at 12.2% in April while the US rate was 7.5%. Spain saw great growth in alt-energy jobs … just before their economy collapsed.
Global hunger will increase because Colorado farmers, who use electric pumps to irrigate their crops, must raise prices. When you have only a dollar to feed your family, a penny more for Fort Morgan corn is a huge hit.
Governor Hickenlooper, may your sleeping pills permit you a good night’s sleep. Otherwise, the facts and your conscience would leave you restless.