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Report Looks at Helping Those "Caught in the New Energy Crosswalk"

February 25, 2009

Denver - The question of balancing energy policy so that it is humane, economically sound and environmentally responsible is the gist of a report released today by the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Researcher Jason Hanson says they looked at a number of "green" energy solutions and found that such balance is possible, but will take a mindful approach from lawmakers.

"They must look for a means to balance our obligations to our shared planet, our fellow citizens and our pocketbooks, in a way that best serves our national interests."

Hanson says each policy should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but using the same priorities.

"We must be committed to ensuring that whatever our next generation policy is, it is shaped with humane considerations in mind."

Hanson likens the energy policy situation to that of a normally safe, responsible driver who is in a hurry and risks not seeing the person standing in the crosswalk.

"We want policy makers to consider those people in the crosswalk as they formulate whatever policies will drive us into the 21st century energy economy."

Hanson says the research by the Center found that a number of environmentally-friendly solutions, such as a so-called cap-and-trade system for global warming emissions, could result in at least slightly raised energy costs to consumers, who are already struggling to pay the bills. He says a possible solution could be to use some revenues from such a system for energy assistance.

Look for the report at centerwest.org

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO