Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate

Advocating strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emission to a level supportive of a livable climate.

Author: cclc_admin

Call on PERA to Protect Coloradans by Curbing Fossil Fuel Investments

This past week 350 Colorado and the Fossil Free PERA campaign teamed up with allies in Canada to call out harmful fossil fuel investments made by both Colorado and Canadian pension funds that are directly and adversely impacting Colorado communities.

Colorado’s pension fund Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), which manages the pensions of half a million current and former state employees, is investing Coloradans’ public money in problematic fossil fuel companies such as Suncor and Extraction Oil and Gas, both under scrutiny for harming local communities through dangerous pollution violations, particularly near lower income communities and communities of color.

To highlight the negative impacts of these investments, 350 CO and Fossil Free PERA launched a video from impacted Coloradans to PERA members, which was highlighted in last week’s Boulder Weekly article. You can watch the video and share here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQTXo4kNa4&feature=youtu.be&emci=68fe6308-e9fc-ea11-96f5-00155d03affc&emdi=ba9e7430-ebfc-ea11-96f5-00155d03affc&ceid=3949405

Here’s how you can take action now:

· Call on PERA to invest public funds in ways that are not only financially viable long-term, but also support the public good. Send a letter to PERA here, calling on PERA to protect Coloradans’ health and safety by curbing fossil fuel investments. Send your letter now and share with your networks: https://secure.ngpvan.com/s9DNFRTMxEuSi6789-MFRw2?emci=68fe6308-e9fc-ea11-96f5-00155d03affc&emdi=ba9e7430-ebfc-ea11-96f5-00155d03affc&ceid=3949405

· Learn more about the issue and share: Check out the Fossil Free PERA website at http://www.FossilFreeCOPERA.org

Please join in calling on PERA Board, leadership and staff to curb fossil fuel investments that are harming public health and fueling the climate crisis, to tackle climate-related financial risk and begin the process of divesting from fossil fuels, and to proactively plan for the energy transition to renewable energy. Our public money should not be invested in companies which are adversely impacting our public health and safety.

With gratitude,

Deborah and the 350 Colorado Team

COGCC Mission Change Rulemaking needs your input!

Colorado needs your help. So does the planet.

Right now, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is revising its operating rules to reflect a major change in its mission mandated by law: from ‘fostering’ O&G development to ‘regulating’ O&G in a manner that prioritizes the protection of public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife, and minimizing adverse impacts on air, water, soil, and biological resources from O&G development.

This COGCC Mission Change rulemaking will have major consequences for future impacts from O&G development, including climate impacts. The rulemaking offers an important avenue for reducing climate damage by O&G development. Your voice is needed to make it happen.

COGCC has drafted proposed rules and is now receiving comments on the draft rules. COGCC will hold a hearing on August 24.

The draft rules will not adequately reduce climate impact and damage by O&G development. Shortcomings in the draft rules include:

While the new rules require estimation of GHG emissions for new O&G developments, there are no standards, limits, mandated reductions, or consequences for GHG emissions. There are no consequences for getting the estimated emissions wrong—intentionally or not. There is nothing in the draft rules that say if you emit 2 tons per year or 500 tons per year of GHGs, then the permit should be denied.

There are no consequences for cumulative climate impacts from new O&G developments, or cumulative negative impacts to air quality and to public health, and no recognition of the severity of these issues in the Front Range and over the Four Corners. The draft rules do not recognize that cumulative effects of O&G development in or near populated areas is correlated to negative health impacts (nosebleeds, asthma attacks, headaches, sore throats, or other health impacts) and to ozone alert days. The draft rules do not provide that such cumulative impacts should trigger limits or stop new permits for O&G development.

The draft rules ignore that methane traps 86x more heat than CO2, with significant near-term climate impact, and that methane lingers in the atmosphere for about 20 years. The draft rules ignore that methane emissions continue to significantly accelerate climate change, pushing the climate crisis toward a tipping point, after which it becomes nearly impossible to stop the runaway warming.

The draft rules are negligent in failing to protect our climate, public health and air quality, and in failing to uphold the climate goals established by legislation and by the Polis administration.

The draft rules need to be revised to provide much more protection for climate, public health and air quality.

Your voices are needed to persuade COGCC to adopt rules that provide far more climate protection than the current draft rules.

There are two ways for for submitting comments in the rulemaking, regarding how you want to see COGCC handle future O&G permits and operations.

1) Submit a written statement (called a 510 Statement). It can be as little as a page, or as long as you need to make your point(s).

510 Statements are due by Friday August 14 at 5pm.

Send to <DNR_COGCC.Rulemaking@state.co.us>

Subject: Mission Change Rulemaking 510 Statement


The Commission prefers a PDF of your statement, but you can send in a Word doc or just write your statement in the body of the email.
Put the date of the submission just above your signature.
End with: Sincerely, /S/ your name (/S/ is the symbol for an electronic signature)
Provide your complete address, email and phone number under your signature.
Do not indicate you’re a member of any specific group.
Most of the climate/envionmental advocacy groups in Colorado are formal Parties to this rulemaking, and therefore are not allowed to submit 510 Statements because we already submitted a prehearing statement.

2) Provide comment by testifying at the rulemaking hearing (via Zoom) on Monday, August 24th, beginning at 4pm. Testimony will be limited to 2 minutes and those who sign up in advance will be given priority. Prior to August 24, the Commission will allow persons to sign up to make oral statements, but that form hasn’t been posted yet. Those who sign up in advance will be given priority.

Talking points are provided HERE (from 350 Colorado and Climate Reality Project).

If you want to take a look, the proposed rules can be viewed HERE. The rules are daunting to get a handle on – and 510 statements and oral testimony can make general points, not necessarily referencing specific rules.

Thank you for advocating to COGCC to reduce climate damage from oil & gas development – which will make a difference in the fight to save our planet.

Update on ballot initiative 174: 2,500′ fracking safety zones

 On July 1, 2020, the Colorado Supreme court invalidated Governor Polis’ emergency rules for collecting petition signatures online and by mail.  The initiative sponsor, Safe and Healthy Colorado, therefore decided to suspend its effort to get this initiative on the ballot this year.

However, Safe and Healthy Colorado intends to bring this initiative back, and is asking people to “Pledge to Sign” a future petition for 2,500 foot fracking safety zones. 

ACTION: Please visit https://www.safeandhealthyco.org/email-signup  and “Pledge to Sign.”

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