Regional Business News – Aug. 31, 2009

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Clean energy economy legislation expected

The Northern Colorado Business Report is reporting that U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Gov. Bill Ritter told an invitation-only crowd of about 350 on Thursday that the Obama administration is looking to “jump start” a clean energy economy with new legislation this year.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, a comprehensive clean-energy bill approved by the U.S. House in June, is set for debate in the Senate this fall.

President Barack Obama and Democrats are hoping to pass the bill they say will help reduce dependence on foreign oil, reduce global warming and create green-energy jobs.

Ritter’s New Energy Economy has focused on the development of solar and wind power along with encouragement for alternative fuel research and the adoption of higher renewal energy standards for utilities.

Ritter noted that Colorado has quadrupled its wind energy on the grid since he took office.

Pinnacol names medical director

Denver-based Pinnacol Assurance has hired Dr. Hugh H. Macaulay as its medical director.

Macaulay has been a member of its medical provider network, SelectNet, since 1998 through his practice, Injury Care of Colorado, and has been serving injured workers and employers since founding his practice in 1995.

He’s a graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina, College of Medicine in Charleston, S.C. and began his medical career with a clinical focus in the areas of family medicine and emergency medicine. 

Higher ed chief stepping down

David Skaggs, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, will leave his position Sept. 11.

Skaggs, who has held the position for two and-a-half years and served as the congressman from the Boulder area from 1987-99, cited an unspecified disagreement with the governor as his reason for leaving.

Skaggs said in his statement that he was grateful to have helped advance Ritter’s educational enterprise.

A replacement has not been named yet.