@GovofCO presents his final state of the state address

Colorado Water Plan website screen shot November 1, 2013

Here’s the complete text of the speech from The Denver Post. Here’s an excerpt:

We created the country’s first and best methane regulations; a water plan that secures food production; protected the sage grouse from being listed as an endangered species; and developed an electric vehicle infrastructure spanning 7,000 miles.

We cut or modified almost half of our rules and regulations. And in doing so, saved businesses nearly eight million dollars and over two million hours last year alone.

Two million hours!

And we measured our progress on everything that matters.

We trained thousands of employees who completed 600 LEAN process improvements…created more value for Coloradans and won several awards…

So we will not let up. We won’t stop to enjoy the view. We have a lot to accomplish in the next 119 days:

● We need to find the right solution to PERA’s unfunded liability.
● We need to pass legislation to safely cap orphan wells.
● We need to halt the opioid epidemic that continues to destroy lives and families, and disproportionately affects our rural communities.
● We need to enact a K-12 and Infrastructure Funding Plan that will help make the Water Plan a reality.
● We need legislation and funds to ensure full broadband buildout in rural areas.
● And we need to protect our rural communities by addressing the intense, negative impact the Gallagher amendment has had, and will have, in the future.

It’s a commonsense agenda…

We need your support to get to the finish line. One of the most essential pieces of infrastructure in our economy is our natural landscape, our clean air and water — the things everyone thinks about when they hear the word “Colorado.”

It’s one reason why companies of all sorts have been drawn to this place we love. And the reason why the outdoor recreation show is coming to Denver in a couple weeks along with its $110 million in economic impact.

It’s why many of our farmers and ranchers, who live on the land, came here, and stay here.

But the responsibility to be good stewards doesn’t only fall on rural parts of the state. It rests with all of us.

Xcel has submitted a plan to close two coals plants in Pueblo. This will clean our air and lower costs for consumers – and lead to greater investments that support 21st-century careers.

What is it the critics don’t like? Is it the cleaner air or the lower utility bills?

Clean air matters.

Xcel is also working with Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel — one of the cleanest steel plants in the world — to move toward renewable energy while protecting Pueblo’s future as a center for steel manufacturing. We need everyone’s support to make this a reality.

Pueblo is known as steel city, but soon it could also be “solar and wind city.”

Most of us agree that science shows climate change is happening at a significant rate in large part because of humans. But even those of us who disagree on climate change can agree that we need to protect the Colorado environment our grandchildren will grow to love with a strong economy where they can find jobs.

This includes protecting our water for agriculture. If we don’t implement our water plan, rural agricultural communities will be hit first and hardest. We live in a state of open markets. They can never afford to match what Front Range homeowners pay for domestic water.

Having a sustainable source of food — no matter what happens around the world — is an essential foundation for the future of our state.

We’re one of the great food exporting states and that’s a resource we should continue to invest in…rather than put at risk.

The Colorado Water Plan provides a framework but doesn’t include all the funding for the last $1 billion over the next 30 years. We need the support of the General Assembly.

But the cost of water has been a small part of rising new housing prices along much of the Front Range and elsewhere. It strains one’s ability to love where they live when they can’t afford the price of a home or even rent near the jobs and communities they care about.

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