Open Letter to Colorado’s Congressional Delegation

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).

“Given the threat the climate crisis poses to Colorado and the number of bills related to climate issues that were passed by the State General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Polis earlier this year, we are surprised and disappointed by the apparent lack of interest in climate issues on the part of the majority of Colorado’s congressional delegation.  We urge you to sign on as a sponsor of the Green New Deal Resolution, and to work on moving legislation forward in the Congress that will address the climate crisis.” –Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate

Dear Senator/Representative —:

The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) is comprised of 26 organizations that collectively develop and advocate strategies for reducing Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions to levels supportive of a livable climate.  Although we focus primarily on State government and utilities operating in Colorado, we considered and adopted positions on two national policy proposals at our meeting held in Loveland on June 15th of this year. Those positions are outlined below.

First, we re-affirmed our support for the Green New Deal Resolution (H. Res. 109 and S. Res. 59), which we voted to support earlier this year when it was first introduced in Congress.  Although we recognize that there is much to be done before the Green New Deal can become a reality, we believe that the level of effort contemplated by its sponsors is what will be required to address the urgent threat posed by the climate crisis at the national level.  We further believe that a Green New Deal could serve as a model for other countries, which will also need both to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions sharply and to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of global warming that are already occurring and will continue to occur.

Second, we voted to support the general concept of a carbon fee and dividend, in which carbon emissions are taxed at the mine mouth or well head and a portion of the receipts are returned to citizens and U.S. residents.  However, we decided that we cannot support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (H.R. 763) in its current form.  Concerns our members expressed regarding this particular bill included a) that the proposed carbon fee, which starts at $15 per ton of equivalent CO2 emissions, is too low, b) the inclusion of provisions suspending certain existing regulations pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions, and c) the failure to direct any of the revenues collected toward federal projects to address the climate crisis.  We will continue to monitor H.R. 763 closely as it makes its way through Congress, and hope that it will be improved to address these concerns.

We note that Joe Neguse is the only member of Colorado’s congressional delegation that has signed on as a sponsor of the Green New Deal Resolution, and that he is also the only member to have signed on as a cosponsor of H.R. 763.  Given the threat the climate crisis poses to Colorado and the number of bills related to climate issues that were passed by the State General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Polis earlier this year, we are surprised and disappointed by the apparent lack of interest in climate issues on the part the majority of Colorado’s congressional delegation.  We urge you to sign on as a sponsor of the Green New Deal Resolution, and to work on moving legislation forward in the Senate/House of Representatives that will address the climate crisis.

According to the United Nations, we have about a decade to reduce our emissions substantially if we are to avoid climate catastrophe.  It’s time for the federal government to start doing its part in confronting this problem.

Sincerely,

COLORADO COALITION FOR A LIVABLE CLIMATE

Gina Hardin (350 Colorado)

Micah Parkin (350 Colorado)

Kevin Cross (Fort Collins Sustainability Group)

Theron Makley (Wind and Solar Denver

 

Ph.  970-419-8944  https://colivableclimate.org

 

 

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