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Street Smarts

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Entrepreneurial, nuts-and-bolts initiatives to increase renewable energy may attract detractors in Colorado Springs, but there are some advocates, too.

Tamara Wagner

Tamara Wagner of the west side is a special needs educator

How interested are you in renewable energies like solar or wind? Very. Dependence on fossil fuel hinders us from protecting our environment.

Assess our community's interest in renewable energy. It's iffy. Money seems more important than the environment here. That's not true everywhere in Colorado, but it seems to be here.

Is it fair to ask customers to pay, say, an extra $5 per year to generate more renewable power? I don't mind paying for what benefits the future of our kids. That's well worth five bucks a year to me.

What will our main energy resource be 20 years from now? It'll vary regionally. We seem to be moving towards wind and solar in Colorado, but that probably won't happen in regions where coal production is a way of life.

Will the big, coal-burning Martin Drake Power Plant downtown still be operational in 20 years? I hope not, but it will if things keep going like they have up to now.

Kevin Kuonen

Kevin Kuonen of the west side works in landscaping

Assess our community's interest in renewable energy. It should be a top priority, but it isn't. There's an element of local interest, but there's not an adequate forum for their voices to be heard. The voices we hear are those of big oil and big business.

Should utility customers be asked to contribute $5 a year to generate renewable power use? Sure. Wouldn't it be awesome to eventually pay little or nothing for energy? I'd gladly pay $5 a year to move us closer to that.

Predict our main source of fuel in 20 years. The sun is our future. Other options are hemp and food-based fuels.

Will the Drake plant still be operational in 20 years? Hopefully not. Realistically, yes.

Bob Snyder

Bob Snyder of the Salvation Army shelter is in ministry

Describe your interest in renewable energy. I'm all for anything that works, even for the environment.

Gauge the local interest in renewable energy. The community is somewhat interested — not at a particularly high level, but somewhat.

Should customers have to pay $5 a year to facilitate renewable energy use? I don't have a problem with that as long as we know where the money actually goes.

How much would you personally pay toward that end? Five dollars, maybe.

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