The state office that focuses on energy efficiency will no longer be funded starting in July. A special last minute request from Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office to save state funding for the Colorado Energy Office failed along party lines Tuesday.
The state legislature’s Joint Budget Committee is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. The two parties disagree on how the office should operate and then rejected Hickenlooper’s $3 million request to begin July 1. Republicans were united against the idea, including Rep. Bob Rankin of Carbondale.
“I would not be prepared to just continue it in its current form,” he said. “I hope there’s some way that we can come to an agreement over what the mission of the office would be, and we can get bipartisan acceptance of that. We’re not there.”
Much of the disagreement over the office centered on a debate over oil and gas and renewable energy. It was not immediately clear how many of the 24 state employees at the office could be laid off. The Energy office said programs to help Colorado be more energy efficient will now be cut or scaled back.