Published in the Denver Post on May 26th, 2024

When I voted for Gov. Jared Polis for governor in 2018 and 2022, I hoped for his leadership on reining in climate change. At least he talked a good game. But it appears that I was conned.

Although I was mixed on Polis’ actions last year, this year the governor had shown himself to be very aligned with the oil and gas industry (O&G). Last week we heard about Polis’ “grand bargain“ with the O&G, which means more inaction on fracking, taking care of orphan and stripper wells, and a business as usual approach and partnerships with O&G. But it keeps on coming.

The last straw for me was the veto on senate bill 150 – Processing of Municipal Solid Waste. Polis has allowed the O&G/plastics industry to embark on use of pyrolysis and incineration to deal with Colorado’s plastic waste problem. Instead of focusing on how to minimize the use of plastics in the state, he decided to give another plum to the industry. 

Polis’ veto of this bill will create a ‘witches brew’ of toxic poisons which will continue to pull air and will likely reach into our water as well. Additionally, it allows these industries to take advantage of tax credits to invest in these new unproven approaches to polluting our state. As a side note – we have been advised that they are planning to put one of these facilities into Northern Colorado – you can be sure I will be opposing this development.

But what really saddens me is that the climate change community was played for the fool. As the saying goes, “Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.“ I will not make the same mistake again, Governor.

Scott Simmons, Windsor.

Note: Among several other affiliations and experiences, Scott is a co-leader for the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Colorado Chapter.