Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter discussed energy and environmental policy and with six students during a brief visit to the law school on April 8.
Ritter, now the founding director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, came to campus to take part in the inaugural speaker series organized by Drexel’s Institute for Energy and the Environment.
During Ritter’s term as governor from 2007-2011, Colorado became a national and international leader in promoting clean energy and revitalizing its economy through development of clean energy initiatives. Ritter previously served as the district attorney of Denver.
Speaking with the law students, Ritter observed that those who seek careers that promote environmental sustainability should not rule out jobs in the energy industry.
“You can watch them changing the conversation internally,” Ritter said, noting that representatives from industry as well as sustainability organizations were involved in crafting some of Colorado’s most ambitious clean energy reforms.
“It was helpful to have people from industry there,” he said. “They had a sense they were losing the public trust.”
Since each new environmental law or regulatory change imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency faces inevitable litigation from states as well as industry, he added, lawyers practicing in the energy arena have plenty of work to do.
“It’s important to have lawyers who have a sense of the breadth of this issue,” he said.