Bill Ritter hasn’t talked to White House about Energy post

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DENVER — Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter is on a shortening list of possible candidates to replace Energy Secretary Steven Chu, according to a report from the Washington Post Tuesday.

But Ritter told FOX31 Denver Tuesday night he’s had no contact with the Obama administration about the job and declined to say if he’d be interested.

Chu has yet to signal his intentions but it’s widely assumed he’ll step aside as President Barack Obama re-makes his cabinet at the start of his second term.

Ritter, a one-term governor whose term was defined largely by his push for a “New Energy Economy”, now heads up the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Ritter, who was an early and ardent Obama supporter and has a good relationship with the president, told the Denver Post Tuesday that he’s “flattered” to be considered.

The initial report from the Washington Post said that hedge fund manager Tom Steyer is receiving the most buzz about a possible appointment, and listed Ritter among five other likely finalists for the job.

“I haven’t had any conversations with the White House,” Ritter told FOX31 Denver Tuesday.

“All I can say is that it’s flattering and I think it’s a credit to the work my administration did and the work we did in Colorado to really pursue an ‘all of the above’ energy policy, to really go forward developing clean energy but we also made a lot of advancements in natural gas extraction, and we did those things in a bipartisan way.

“I think it’s just a credit to the work we did here in Colorado.”

Asked if he’d be interested in the job should it be offered, Ritter declined to comment.

Elected governor in a 2006 landslide, Ritter decided not to seek a second term in early 2010, stating that he needed to devote more time and energy to his relationships with his wife and children.

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