Sen. Schwartz receives Randy Udall Award

Staff report
Snowmass Sun


The Colorado Renewable Energy Society honored state Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass, with its first-ever Randy Udall Award on Sept. 6 during the society’s sixth annual conference at the University of Denver School of Law.

The Randy Udall Award was created in memory of Randy Udall, a Roaring Fork Valley champion of renewable energy and its critical relationship to climate change. The award is given for leadership in energy and climate-change policy.

“To be given the Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s first Randy Udall Award is entirely humbling, as he was a personal hero of mine,” Schwartz said in a statement. “Randy loved Colorado and advocated to sustain our natural environment and use our resources wisely. My work at the state Legislature for the past seven years has been motivated by similar goals. We live in a remarkable state that provides for us through its diverse geography and natural resources, which we must strive to keep in balance to ensure our economic future.”

During her two terms in the Colorado General Assembly, Schwartz has worked to protect water, natural resources and agriculture lands, the statement said. Her record also has strongly promoted energy diversification and new renewable resources and encouraged energy efficiency. In particular, she has sought to develop a wide range of renewable resources in rural Colorado in order to drive local economic development and job growth.

Udall spent more than a decade developing partnerships regionally among coal mines, the ski industry and rural electric utilities to address methane releases from coal-mine operations. This year, Schwartz sponsored Senate Bill 13-252, which incorporated coal-mine methane into the state’s energy portfolio as an eligible resource. Capturing and utilizing methane emissions from coal mines to create energy helps protect the atmosphere from the strong greenhouse gases while creating a new, reliable, clean energy source.

The Colorado Renewable Energy Society is led by executive director Lorrie McAllister. It’s a statewide nonpartisan nonprofit that works to move Colorado toward increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency while supporting advancement of new science and technology.


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