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Hick proves Mark Twain’s quote to be true

Hick proves Mark Twain’s quote to be true

Parts of Governor John Hickenlooper’s announcement of his climate change executive order reminded me of Mark Twain’s famous quote: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Below are some of my favorite Hick quotes followed by my commentary.

“We will tap into this market force that is already moving,” Hickenlooper said, emphasizing robust economic activity around wind and solar energy as an alternative to burning more fossil fuels that increase carbon and other heat-trapping pollution.

It’s not a “market force” if government mandates 30 percent of our electricity be produced from wind and solar. Perhaps he meant to say a “forced market…” The real question is: if market forces are “already moving,” then why does Colorado need an executive order?

“This is a grass-roots-based movement,” Hickenlooper said while surrounded by his cabinet, conservation groups and a few elected officials.

Nothing says “grassroots movement” like a Governor announcing his executive fiat while surrounded by his political appointees.

“People throughout this state and throughout this country believe we can achieve cleaner energy without burdening ourselves with higher prices.” 

And 14 percent of American voters believe Sasquatch is real. Just because Hick knows people who believe monopoly utilities will build new industrial wind projects without raising electric rates, doesn’t mean it’s true. Recent rate history is on my side, indicating that the possibility of compliance with Hick’s EO without “burdening ourselves with higher prices” is about as real double-horned unicorn sprinkled with magic fairy dust. 

“Colorado will create ‘charging corridors; along highways ‘to reduce range anxiety’ — the fear among electric vehicle drivers that batteries will die, Hickenlooper said. ‘You’ll be able to drive an electric car from Colorado to the Pacific, and from Denver to Moffat County, without fear.’

Dr. Hick identifies a disturbing new epidemic afflicting metro-area, well-to-do, multi-vehicle EV drivers: I-bought-a-useless-third-vehicle-phobia. It comes up suddenly. One minute the unsuspecting, morally righteous driver is laughing about getting low income taxpayers to pay for a huge chunk of his very expensive third vehicle when suddenly the battery has lost its charge. Stuck in some strange place like Greeley or Pueblo, these over-educated Denver-area drivers suffer from anxiety because they feel like they are in a time warp, in places where people are polite and drive gasoline powered pickup trucks. The only way to alleviate their “fear” is to build out the electric vehicle infrastructure for the 7,000 drivers and allow Xcel Energy to profit off of it. 

We’re really trying to build a collaborative framework. … These are market forces. This is not government imposing a regime.

“Collaborative” never includes those who have to pay the bills. If you have to explain that your executive order isn’t “government imposing a regime,” suffice to say you, most certainly, are trying to impose a “government regime.”

*Thank you to good friend Joshua Sharf for inspiring this post.

*Thanks to the Denver Post and the Denver Business Journal for providing the Hick quotes.


Amy Cooke