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Fast-track this: Five untapped Colorado energy sources

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The Department of the Interior just designated six renewable energy projects, including a 400-megawatt solar tower, as "fast-track" developments deserving of the highest priority. All six of the projects happen to be in California.

Hard to believe that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar would ignore all the potential energy sources in his home state. We've got tons of excess energy around here, begging to be harnessed for productive use. Here's a short list of some of the most reliable, homegrown renewables that deserve a fast track all their own:

1. The Penry-Huttner Geothermal Project All those e-mail blasts exchanged between GOP gubernatorial hopeful Josh Penry and ProgressNow talking-points trumpeter Michael Huttner generate enough steam and bluster to scald rocks. At present, the heat and pressure produced by this phenomenon is dissipated pointlessly in the cybersphere, when it could be turning turbines the size of their respective egos.

2. The Haggard Hydroelectric Damn News that former New Life pastor Ted Haggard is starting a prayer group in his Colorado Springs home is a blessed opportunity for researchers to try out new lachrymose-penitent tear collectors. Haggard can cry us a river for past misdeeds involving meth and male escorts, aided by smaller stream flows from the mea culpas of ordinary sinners. Additional power will be supplied by the gnashing of teeth.

3. Capitol Dome Wind Farm Only five states so far have maximized their use of the hot air blowing through every legislative session. Colorado has seen a marked uptick in high-velocity currents lately, from pressure systems created by partisan rifts over everything from healthcare reform to Governor Bill Ritter's early-release plan for state prisoners. The knock on wind power is that it's intermittent, but with the gubernatorial and Senate races providing supplemental blowhardiness, what's to worry?

4. The Villafuerte Biomass Experiment Questions about U.S. Attorney nominee Stephanie Villafuerte and her role in the effort to discredit a former ICE agent in the midst of Ritter's 2006 campaign continue to smolder. Tremendous expenditures of raw power have been required to keep the gases and waste produced by this controversy contained, so that it doesn't disrupt the Democratic power grid. Some observers believe an explosion is imminent unless this volatile energy source is properly developed and vented into the light of day.

5. Balloon Boy Passive Solar Complex Initially conceived as a helium-powered transportation system, the Balloon Boy effort yielded disappointing results in its pilot phase, due in part to problematic and possibly fraudulent data. It has since been retooled as a passive solar field, one that uses the legal energy of Heene family attorney David Lane to produce a slow burn among Larimer County law enforcement.

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