Senator Ken SalazarWhile it seems that every company in America is downsizing, Ascent Solar in Thornton is hiring three or four people every week, Prem Nath, senior vice president, proudly tells Slate. The company, “spun out of a technology incubator” four years ago, produces thin-film energy cells printed on malleable plastic small enough to power a BlackBerry or large enough to go on a roof. “The Mile High City occupies the high ground when it comes to clean energy–and clean living,” as Slate notes in a report that includes a trip to the governor’s office. Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (pictured) has signed an order that sets aside more than 1,000 square miles of land in six states, writes The Washington Post, including Colorado, for a two-year study of where to build solar power plants. KUNC radio calls Salazar’s order a big boost for the solar industry. And reporting from Durango, The New York Times notes that for the first time since territorial days, Coloradans may collect rain water, thanks to an effort to sort out the stranger side of state water law.