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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!