President Biden’s original infrastructure proposal (more formally, the American Jobs Plan) included major investments related to mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis. However, the compromise bill designed to make infrastructure spending more palatable to Senate Republicans contains very little in the way of climate initiatives. Colorado’s Senators need to hear from us: “No Climate, No Deal!”
2021 Colorado Climate/ Energy/ Environmental Legislation Summary
By Jan Rose, CCLC Spokesperson and Legislative Maven
Posted on June 16th 2021
Without question, this has been the most consequential session of the General Assembly for climate change legislation in history, with 53 bills introduced! Nearly all the bills we supported passed, and the vast majority of bills we opposed failed.
CCLC Positions on Colorado General Assembly Bills
Updated on June 8th, 2021
The CCLC has taken positions on the following 2021 Colorado General Assembly bills:
‘Wait and See’ Won’t Work on Climate
Published in the Boulder Daily Camera on May 27th, 2021
We would like to urge Governor Polis to sign SB21-200 into law when it gets to his desk.
In 2019, the Colorado state legislature passed the landmark climate bill, HB19-1261, which set the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels. Scientists have made it clear that we must meet these targets in order to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. Unfortunately, we’re not currently on track to meet these goals.
Coal Burning Not the Right Path to Secure Pueblo’s Future
Published in the Pueblo Chieftain on April 23rd, 2021
Let me be clear. I stand in strong support of the Pueblo community and the bright future that I believe you are on track for.
It is highly unlikely, however, that attempting to burn coal at Pueblo Unit 3 (a.k.a. “Comanche 3”) for another 19 years will be a successful strategy.
PERA Should Divest from Fossil Fuels for the Climate as well as for Better Returns
Published in the Boulder Weekly on April 22nd, 2021
Colorado legislators and Colorado’s state pension fund — Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) — should be paying close attention to the fact that a bill, HB21-1246 PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Divestment From Fossil Fuel Companies, didn’t move forward in committee at the state legislature on April 19. To not divest from fossil fuels not only fails to take bold action to address the climate crisis but also fails beneficiaries in choosing to ignore the mounting evidence that funds that have divested are outperforming those that have not.
House Finance Committee Rejects PERA’s Divestment from Fossil Fuels
News release dated April 20th, 2021
COLORADO — On April 19th Colorado’s House Finance Committee heard HB21-1246 PERA Public Employees’ Retirement Association Divestment From Fossil Fuel Companies, which would have required Colorado’s state pension fund (Public Employees Retirement Association) to divest from fossil fuel companies. Proponents of the bill argued that to not divest from fossil fuels not only fails to take bold action to address the climate crisis but also fails beneficiaries in choosing to ignore the mounting evidence that divested funds are outperforming those that have not.
35 Prominent Environmental Groups Submit Joint Letter to APCD Re: 2021 GHG Inventory
Released on March 30th, 2021
DENVER — On Monday, 350 Colorado and the Colorado Sierra Club along with the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate, EcoCycle, Clean Energy Action, Resilient Denver and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council submitted a joint comment to Colorado’s Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) on the 2021 Draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory.
Open Letter to our Congressional Delegation: We Need a Green New Deal!
Letter sent on January 22nd, 2021
Dear Members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation:
When the Green New Deal Resolution (H. Res. 109 and S. Res. 59) was first introduced in Congress in early 2019, the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate voted wholeheartedly to endorse it. We communicated that position to you in a letter dated June 24th, 2019.
Groups Decry Xcel Energy’s Move to Slow Down Climate Action in Colorado
News release dated December 4th, 2020
Denver–Groups representing thousands of Coloradans have called into question why Xcel Energy, the state’s largest utility who has long positioned itself as a climate leader, has moved to join litigation to slow climate action in Colorado. The diverse coalition of environmental, justice, health, and climate advocacy groups offered statements below.
Colorado Candidate Questionnaires on Climate and Clean Energy
Updated on October 16th, 2020
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate asked Colorado General Assembly and Congressional candidates where they stand on issues related to climate protection and clean energy. As of early October, 75 General Assembly candidates and eight Congressional candidates who are on the ballot this November have responded to questions asking them to rate the urgency of addressing climate change, state whether they would sign on to the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge”, and declare their support or opposition to a number of state and national level climate policy initiatives. We’ve posted the results, and hope they will be helpful as people make up their minds who to support in the general election.
Governor Turns Back on Duty to Protect Climate, Achieve Environmental Justice in Colorado
WildEarth Guardians news release for September 10th, 2020
Denver–Today, Colorado Governor Jared Polis moved a court to rule that he has no duty to protect the climate, arguing he is not legally required to achieve legislated greenhouse gas reduction goals in the state.
We won’t back down on fracking
Published in Colorado Politics on July 30th, 2020
Regarding Gov. Polis’ recent announcement that he has worked with both the oil and gas industry and environmental groups to withdraw ballot measures in 2020 and prevent future ballot measures through 2022: The 32 environmental groups that make up the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) wish to clarify that not one of our groups was included in those “conversations” (“Give pivotal new oil and gas law a chance,” July 24).
Polis Must Get Colorado on Track to Meet Climate Goals
Published in the Denver Post on July 6th, 2020
While Colorado is leading the way on climate action, its accountability to climate justice remains elusive as the state is still way off track to meet legally required greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Open letter to AQCC on Potential Path to Meeting 2025 Climate Goal
Posted on July 1, 2020
Dear Commissioners Milford, Butler, Gerber, Gonzalez, Grobe, Jones, Rueter, Schendler, and Williams:
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate has supported the adoption of strong greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals by the State since our inception in 2015. We have followed the Air Quality Control Commission’s rulemaking efforts this year with both interest and concern. Our concerns center around the fact that the one regulation approved to date does not go very far toward meeting the ambitious climate goals set by the General Assembly in the spring of last year. Further, we do not see much sense of urgency on the part of either the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) or the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) in supporting the development of rules that are up to the task of meeting those goals.
Colorado Candidate Questionnaires on Climate and Clean Energy
Posted on June 8th, 2020
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate asked Colorado General Assembly and Congressional candidates where they stand on issues related to climate protection and clean energy. 61 General Assembly candidates and five Congressional candidates who will be on the primary ballot this June responded to questions asking them to rate the urgency of addressing climate change, state whether they would sign on to the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge”, and declare their support or opposition to a number of state and national level climate policy initiatives. We’ve posted the results, and hope they will be helpful as people make up their minds who to support in the primary election to be held on Tuesday, June 30th.
Statement on Rulemaking Concerning State Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This statement was delivered at the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission hearing on February 20th, 2020. An earlier version was delivered at the Air Pollution Control Division hearing on January 16th.
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) has advocated for the adoption of strong greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals by the State since our inception in 2015. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tells us that in order to have a better than even chance of avoiding climate catastrophe, i.e. to limit the global average temperature rise to no more than 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels, the entire world needs to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2040. We believe that Colorado should achieve that goal even sooner, given our historic emissions and our access to ample renewable energy resources.
Climate Science Says Act Now
Published in the Denver Post on August 13th, 2019
Re: “Pollution tax is not ready for prime time,” Aug. 11 editorial
The Denver Post’s editorial states it would make more sense to work with all Xcel energy customers on the Front Range to come up with a regional solution. I am part of Resilient Denver. We have a Citizen-led Initiative for a ballot measure similar to Denver City Council’s.
CCLC on Draft Colorado GHG Inventory 2019
Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate news release on July 12, 2019
Fort Collins, CO – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released its draft “Colorado Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2019 Including Projections to 2020 and 2030” on July 5th. That report provides actual statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data through 2015, and projected GHG emissions for 2020 and 2030.
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) makes the following observations concerning the CDPHE draft report:
Open Letter to Colorado’s Congressional Delegation
Posted on June 27th, 2019
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) sent a letter to all nine members of Colorado’s congressional delegation on June 24th, 2019 urging them to work on moving legislation forward in Congress that will address the climate crisis. Eight of them (Senators Bennet and Gardner; and Representatives DeGette, Tipton, Buck, Lamborn, Perlmutter and Crow) received the letter appended below. In our letter to Representative Joe Neguse, we thanked him for cosponsoring the Green New Deal Resolution (H. Res. 109), and noted that he is the only member of Colorado’s congressional delegation to do so, and is also the only one of his nine peers to have signed on the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (H.R. 763).
The Apocalypse Issue
Published in the Denver Post on June 2nd, 2019
Re: “Lofty goals”, May 26 Denver Post commentary
Vincent Carroll gets a lot right when he targets “Lofty Goals” of changing over everything to new technology for our energy sources. It has not been easy to move Colorado just this far away from burning stuff for our energy. And getting to 100 percent renewable energy will cost. But as any significant transition, say, indoor plumbing, or road networks, or international travel, those initial costs are seen in retrospect as investments.
CCLC Urges Bolder Climate Goals in 2020
Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate news release on May 2nd, 2019
Fort Collins, CO – Yesterday, the Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution bill, HB 19-1261, received final approval from the legislature, and is now ready for the Governor’s signature. The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) recognizes and appreciates the historic progress the legislature has made this session in attempting to get Colorado to do its part in addressing the looming climate disaster. It is gratified that HB 19-1261 acknowledges the importance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius over the pre-industrial average, as called for by the October 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.
Colorado Should Set Bold Climate Change Goals
Published in the Colorado Independent on April 2nd, 2019
The Colorado General Assembly soon will consider establishing additional climate goals for our state. The bill, HB19-1261, would set goals of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a 90% emissions reduction by 2050, both compared to 2005 levels. The bill also reaffirms the goal set by Gov. John Hickenlooper before he left office: a 26% emissions reduction by 2025.
While the new goals might sound ambitious, the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) is calling for the 2030 goal to be strengthened – instead of 50% reduction by 2030, the CCLC seeks a 63% reduction by then.
Oil and Gas Legislation Needs Debate of Substance
Published in the Denver Post on March 24th, 2019
Re: “Does proposed oil and gas reform go too far or not far enough?” March 17 commentaries by Jon Caldara and Simon Moya Smith
I write in reply to Jon Caldara’s Sunday column on SB-181. There are serious issues here. My comments are not intended to demean Weld County. Mr Caldara calls the bill “an existential threat to Weld County”. He then compares that threat to the “vague, macro-level romantic way the Boulder mafia running Colorado’s government talks about global climate change”.
CCLC Urges Bolder Climate Goals as New Climate Legislation is Introduced this Week
Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate news release on March 22nd, 2019
Fort Collins, CO – Yesterday, the long-anticipated bill to establish new climate goals for the State of Colorado was released by its cosponsors in the House and Senate. The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC), a broad coalition of 26 member organizations, supports efforts to address the climate crisis and calls on the General Assembly to adopt bolder climate goals than those currently proposed in the bill in order to be more consistent with a 66% chance of limiting the global average temperature rise no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius – the maximum recommended in the October 2018 Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to avoid the most dire climate impacts.
Increase in global temperature for four different emissions scenarios
Published by the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate on January 31st, 2019 and updated on April 14th, 2019
The graph below shows the projected increase in global average temperature above 1850 levels for four different greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scenarios.
National Climate Assessment requires us to take action
Published in the Denver Post on December 2nd, 2018
Re: “Report: Climate change a threat,” November 24th news story
How many times does our government have to hear about the horrors that await us if we don’t tackle climate change? We have the resources; all we need is the political will.
More than sad
Published in the Denver Post on October 12th, 2018
It is more than sad that the Denver Post has been fooled by the oil and gas industry scare tactics on Proposition 112 – safe setbacks from fracking operations.
Colorado candidate questionnaire on climate and clean energy
Updated on September 27th, 2018
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate asked Colorado Gubernatorial, House, and Senate candidates where they stand on issues related to climate protection and clean energy. 51 candidates who will be on the ballot in November responded to seven questions covering renewable electricity goals, greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, oil and gas setbacks, and more. We’ve posted the results, and hope they will be helpful as people make up their minds who to support in the general election to be held on Tuesday, November 6th.
Some advice for Jared Polis
Published in the Denver Post on September 2nd, 2018
Re: “Polis heckled during drilling speech,” August 23rd news story
This is what Jared Polis should have told the Colorado Oil and Gas Association:
Feeling the heat in Colorado
Thanks to Mike Keefe for his July 7th editorial cartoon comparing hell with Colorado. The fire and fury in our forests gets worse every year. The health consequences of the wildfires burning in the state were emphasized in an article on page 4A the same day: “Unhealthy air blowing across Colorado.”
Global warming worsening
Thank you for sharing the article by Seth Borenstein, “Looking for signs of global warming? They’re all around you.”
For over 10,000 years nature kept CO2 in balance at 280 ppm. When Bill McKibben wrote “The End of Nature” in 1989, CO2 had already passed the safe upper limit of 350 ppm. It is now at 411. It means we are breathing man-made air. The end of nature.
Senate bill seeks to stop Hickenlooper from following Paris climate accord
Published in Colorado Politics on April 18th, 2018
A Senate committee debated a bill Wednesday to take away Gov. John Hickenlooper’s ability to keep Colorado in line with the Paris accord, the multi-nation agreement to address climate change. [The CCLC was there to poke fun at the effort!]
The comparatively low cost of moving to 100 percent renewable energy
Published in the Denver Post on February 4th, 2018
The good news about Mark Jaffe’s recent column about moving electric generation to 100 percent renewables is that we can get to 80 percent right now. Wind and solar are now so much cheaper that getting to 80 percent renewables would help everybody’s bottom line. What sticks is the cost of storage to help fill in the last 20 percent.
Colorado climate advocates call on Xcel to step up
Denver, CO – November 15th, 2017
As international leaders meet in Bonn, Germany this week for the UN Climate Change Conference, local leaders, businesses, advocates and more are holding events across the US to support climate action in the absence of federal leadership….
Today, the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) — a coalition of 22 statewide community, faith, and environmental organizations, including 350 Colorado, Eco-Justice Ministries, Wind and Solar Denver, The Climate Mobilization Colorado and more — delivered a petition to Xcel Energy’s state headquarters in Denver asking that the utility take the lead by closing all of its remaining coal plants by 2030 and all fracked gas plants by 2035.
Scott Pruitt’s detachment from climate reality
An edited version of this letter was published in the Denver Post on October 16th, 2017
EPA chief Scott Pruitt decided to announce his intention to terminate the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) on a day when ten people were killed by raging wildfires in California and hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans still lack power and water due to Hurricane Maria. It’s hard to imagine how a news conference could be more detached from the reality of climate change.
Progress on Xcel’s Colorado Energy Plan
Published in the Boulder Daily Camera on September 6th, 2017
Xcel’s “Colorado Energy Plan — Advancing Colorado’s clean energy future” was published last week. Thanks to the passion and dedication of many, Xcel Energy has committed to 55 percent renewable electricity by 2026. While this is a major step in the right direction, we must get to 80-100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, with no significant new investment in natural gas infrastructure.
Put up or shut up
Published in the Boulder Weekly on August 3rd, 2017
Regardless of human action (or inaction), the planet will warm more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit by the turn of the century, according to new government-funded analysis.
The research looks at “how warm we expect the planet to be if we turn off the lights today,” says Robert Pincus, an atmospheric scientist from the University of Colorado Boulder, who coauthored the study. It “describes the responsibility of past actions for future warming, for future costs” in measurable terms.
News release on Colorado joining the U.S. Climate Alliance and Executive Order D 2017-015
Fort Collins, CO – On July 11th, Governor Hickenlooper announced that Colorado will join the U.S. Climate Alliance. He also released an Executive Order titled “Supporting Colorado’s Clean Energy Transition,” in which he set forth new climate goals for our State.
Critics say Hickenlooper’s clean energy pledge falls short of needed climate action
Published in the Colorado Independent on March 30, 2017
Donald Trump wants to eliminate the Clean Power Plan. Hickenlooper says Colorado will press on — but environmental experts say even that won’t be enough to fight climate change.
Denver Post and Senator Scott both wrong on climate action
Published in the Denver Post on December 31, 2016
Senator Ray Scott’s guest commentary and The Post’s editorial on December 24th run the limited gamut of Colorado power-elite thinking on climate action. Senator Scott is an outright climate change denier, while The Post expresses support for Governor John Hickenlooper’s recent draft executive order, which addresses power-sector CO2 emissions only.
Divestment vs. pricing carbon
Published in the Denver Post on December 24, 2016
If, as the Independent Petroleum Association of America insists, DU’s prospective divestment of its endowment fund from the top 200 fossil-fuel companies is only a “symbolic gesture” that would not affect the price of energy industry stocks, one might well wonder why the IPAA is expending so much effort and money to “launch a counter-attack” against students and others advocating for that divestment. Methinks they doth protest too much!