Press Coverage

April 2018

  • Business groups team up to urge increase in transportation funding
    Denver Business Journal - April 10, 2018
    SWEEP transportation-program director Will Toor said he would like to see SB 1 dedicate at least 15 percent of spending toward multi-modal solutions, allocate at least 40 percent of total revenue to local governments and remove a provision making it more difficult to add toll lanes to highways. “The state spends less than 1 cent per person per day on public transit — 20 times less than the national average,” Toor said. “In order to address this, it makes sense both to use available revenue in the general fund and ask the voters to increase taxes.”
  • ‘America First’ Or Dirtier Air? What EPA Rollbacks On Auto Emissions Could Mean
    Colorado Public Radio - April 5, 2018
    CO Public Radio interviews SWEEP's Will Toor about EPA's proposal to halt improvements in car and light truck fuel efficiency. "Will Toor of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project tells Colorado Matters he opposes the move, and believes it will hurt Coloradans in their wallets and in diminished air quality."
  • Don’t roll back U.S. auto emissions standards
    Denver Post - April 4, 2018
    Colorado's leading newspaper supports fuel efficiency and mileage requirements for cars and light trucks, and opposes EPA chief Pruitt's push to roll back the standards. "If the auto industry and consumers hit the targets in the agreement, they would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2 billion tons, oil consumption by 2.2. million barrels per day from 2010 levels and fuel costs by $1.7 trillion."
  • Analysis: How EPA’s rollback of auto mileage rule would impact Colorado
    Durango Herald - April 3, 2018
    The rollback of federal auto-mileage standards – expected by the Trump administration in the coming days – could erase some of the progress being made in Colorado on cutting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, according to analyses by environmental groups. “Having this rule yanked out from under us will send Colorado backward,” said Will Toor, transportation program director at the Boulder-based Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.

March 2018

  • Climate, clean air goals in danger
    Boulder Daily Camera - March 31, 2018
    The Trump administration has launched such a dizzying array of attacks on environmental quality in its first year that it's sometimes hard to keep track of them all. But perhaps the most direct assault on environmental quality yet is expected this week, when Pruitt plans to announce the administration will revoke auto emission standards set in 2012, which mandate that the fuel efficiency of cars, sport-utility vehicles and light trucks continue to improve on an annual basis through 2025. The effects of a rollback on Boulder's and Colorado's emission reduction goals could be devastating. Former Boulder mayor Will Toor, now director of the transportation program at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, estimates that if Pruitt succeeds in rolling back mandated improvements after 2021, it will negate the entire improvement in emissions expected from the Colorado Energy Plan announced by Xcel Energy last year, which calls for retiring 660 megawatts of coal-fired electric capacity and replacing it with wind, solar and natural gas. "There is simply no way that Boulder can achieve its climate goals without the clean-car standards," Toor said. "If you look at projections for greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in Boulder, the biggest single reduction comes from federal standards forcing cars to get cleaner. From a metro area perspective, cars are one of the two big sources of ozone precursors contributing to smog and violations of federal air quality standards. The other big source is oil and gas production, a not-unrelated source. Rolling back the standards will increase emissions of ozone precursors, making it harder to clean the air here."
  • Colorado Senate committee unplugs bill to allow Xcel to build EV charging stations March
    Colorado Politics - March 28, 2018
    Despite strong support from the business community, the Colorado state senate's transportation committee killed a proposal to let Xcel Energy to build electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations to bolster the development of the alternative transport. It failed on a 3-2 vote along party lines. SWEEP's Will Toor had argued for the plan, citing a 2017 study by the consulting firm M J Bradley & Associates that calculated the annual savings by 2030 from high EV penetration in Colorado could be $70 million a year. Under PUC regulations that money would be returned to customers, Toor said.
  • Colorado to spend millions building electric-vehicle charging stations
    Denver Business Journal - March 26, 2018
    After more than a year of work, Colorado air pollution officials last week finalized a plan to spend $68.7 million to cut car and truck pollution in the state by investing in electric and alternative-fuel vehicles. “I think the state has done a really good job of crafting a plan that will support the bold goals the Governor set out in the Colorado Electric Vehicle plan earlier this year,” SWEEP's Will Toor said.
  • TEP, APS ordered to cut reliance on gas, add renewables in long-term plans
    Arizona (Tucson) Daily Star - March 19, 2018
    Arizona utility regulators have sent a strong message to the state’s biggest power companies: Step off the gas.The high level of public engagement in the resource planning process shows Arizonans want clean energy and energy efficiency, said Ellen Zuckerman, Arizona senior associate with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “The ACC’s decision to start getting the utilities better in sync with public appetite for cleaner energy resources and cost savings is good to see,” Zuckerman said.
  • Arizona regulators rebuff utilities, order turn from gas to renewables
    PV Magazine - March 15, 2018
    As an historic first, the Arizona Corporation Commission has voted not to acknowledge the gas-heavy energy resource plans of utilities, and is pushing instead an aggressive clean energy plan by one of its members. In a report highlighted by Western Resource Advocates and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, if just one electricity utility – APS – were to install renewable energy sources, backed with energy storage and efficiency, instead of the planned 4,000-5,500 MW of gas – customers would save roughly $300 million.
  • Arizona regulators hope to put hold on utilities' gas-fired ambitions
    Electric Light and Power online - March 15, 2018
    Arizona regulators are scuttling plans by the state’s utilities to massively expand natural gas-fired generation until they take time to officially study and report on the cost comparisons with alternative energy and storage options. “The unprecedented level of public engagement in this process underscores that Arizona is a state where people want clean energy and energy efficiency and all the benefits they bring,” said Ellen Zuckerman with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project in a statement. “The ACC’s decision to start getting the utilities better in sync with public appetite for cleaner energy resources and cost savings is good to see.”
  • Arizona regulators move to place gas plant moratorium on utilities
    Utility Dive - March 15, 2018
    This story doesn't directly quote SWEEP, but used much of our information. A published decision is not yet available, but the commissioners' amendments signal how the agency envisions Arizona's energy landscape and the future of natural gas in the state.
  • Henderson receives energy efficiency award
    KTNV - March 14, 2018
    Henderson, NV, is seeing green by saving green, says a Nevada television station. KTNV reports on SWEEP awarding the 2018 Energy Codes Count award to the City of Henderson.
  • People Are Buying Electric Cars in Bulk to Get Cheaper Prices
    Motherboard - March 5, 2018
    Online geek magazine Motherboard gives SWEEP kudos for advancing the idea of "group buys" for electric vehicles, thus lowering prices for consumers. "In 2016, US advocacy group Southwest Energy Efficiency Project noted EV sales doubled and even tripled in communities where group-buying programs existed. Earlier this year, Colorado said group-buys would be a major driver in attaining its ambitious goal of having 940,000 EVs by 2030."
  • Nevada accelerates efforts to widen electric transportation adoption
    Northern Nevada Business Weekly - March 2, 2018
    According to the Nevada Governor's Office of Energy (GOE), nearly 90 percent of the energy consumed in the state comes from imported fossil fuels. Accounting for nearly one-third of this energy consumption is transportation. The GOE and partnering agencies are charged - in more ways than one - to change this fact by navigating Nevada into an electric transportation transition. This story is based on presentations made at SWEEP's Northern Nevada Electric Transportation Forum in February 2018. Although it doesn't quote SWEEP directly, it does clearly explain the issues, challenges and clean energy potential of deploying more electric vehicles in the Silver State.
  • What’s driving a Tesla Model X like for a first-time electric vehicle user?
    Northern Nevada Business Weekly - March 2, 2018
    A magazine journalist got behind the wheel of an electric car at the SWEEP-sponsored electric vehicle forum in Reno, NV and discovered that the new vehicles are fun as well as clean. "I feel like I'm on a ride at Disneyland."
  • Clean energy advocates decry proposed electric, hybrid vehicle fees
    Deseret News - March 1, 2018
    Utah Clean Energy and other entities that include Rocky Mountain Power are harnessing their opposition to a transportation funding bill that includes significant registration fee increases for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. "While this bill includes important provisions to increase funding for mass transit, we’re very concerned that the Senate is moving forward with the third-highest fee for electric vehicles in the United States," said Kevin Emerson with Utah Clean Energy. "This fee will deter electric vehicle adoption in Utah."

February 2018

  • Electric Transportation Forum
    KTVN Ch. 2 News Reno, NV - February 22, 2018
    Check out the KTVN-Channel 2 news story about SWEEP's recent NV electric forum, including snowstorm interview with SWEEP's Will Toor, as well as a calmer but still outdoor discussion with state Sen. Patricia Spearman, who sponsored important energy efficiency legislation last year. The one-minute newscast also describes the value of the eight-state (including NV) agreement to create charging stations along 7,000 miles of interstate highways.
  • Colorado’s NREL — a workhorse in national solar, wind research — faces “devastating” cuts in Trump budget proposal
    Denver Post - February 1, 2018
    SWEEP's Howard Geller on Trump's proposal to slash DOE's funding: "Deep cuts in funding for DOE’s renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs would be devastating to NREL and would harm clean energy businesses throughout Colorado. We urge the Colorado congressional delegation to push back." https://www.denverpost.com/2018/01/31/donald-trump-energy-cuts-national-renewable-energy-laboratory/

January 2018

  • Governor Sets Bold Goals for Electric Vehicles
    Prowers Journal - January 28, 2018
    The newspaper in eastern Colorado describes Gov. Hickenlooper's plan to encourage the development and installation of electric vehicle charging stations. The story quotes SWEEP's Will Toor: "Governor Hickenlooper is taking a bold step forward by setting a target of nearly a million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. This would save consumers over half a billion dollars a year in fuel costs, would drive down electricity rates, saving utility customers $50 million per year, and would have a major impact on cleaner air and lower carbon emissions."
  • Few EVs in rural Colorado now, but with spark that may change; Expect to see fast-charging stations along highways in 2018
    Mountain Town News - January 23, 2018
    Colorado’s state government has been assisting in many local efforts to smooth and accelerate the transition to electrified transportation. Now, the state is expanding its effort to secondary highways, both federal and state. One-third is to be used for in-town locations but two-thirds is to go to highways. U.S. Highway 50 through Gunnison could be a potential recipient. Will Toor, transportation program manager for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, points out that Colorado has the 6th largest market share of EVs in the country.
  • Legislature begins the fight, again, over how to pay for transportation
    Durango Herald - January 23, 2018
    The Colorado Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday afternoon served up the official opening volley of another contentious fight over how to pay for transportation to keep up with Colorado’s growth. Mike Salisbury, a transportation expert for the Colorado-based Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, agreed local governments should get money and expanding broader forms of transportation is critical. Local roads, state highways, bike paths and transit services Coloradans are relying on have become increasing inadequate,” he said.
  • Sales Of Electric Cars Have Doubled In Colorado The cars are gaining popularity across the state.
    KCNC Channel 4 - January 5, 2018
    CBS affiliate in Denver, CO offers an in-depth explanation of why sales of electric vehicles have doubled in Colorado, and why emerging technologies may make such cars more affordable, longer-range and even more environmentally friendly.
  • Billions From VW Settlement Boost Push to Clean Vehicles
    Stateline - January 4, 2018
    Prestigious national policy publication explains that many states will use VW emission fraud settlement funds to encourage deployment of electric vehicles as a way to affordably improve their air quality. SWEEP's Will Toor is quoted.