Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Governor Undermines Climate Action Plan in Colorado

Energy
Governor Undermines Climate Action Plan in Colorado

Over the last few years, Colorado has been ravaged by near cataclysmic climate-change caused disasters—floods, wildlfires, and drought—and so you’d think that when the state unveiled its new “Climate Action Plan,” as it did last week, the plan would take a very aggressive approach to fighting and mitigating climate change.

But that’s not what the plan does, which was spearheaded by Colorado Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper who used to work for the oil and gas industry. Gov. Hickenlooper is known far and wide for drinking Halliburton’s fracking fluid and suing local cities that banned fracking.

With this final Climate Action Plan, Gov. Hickenlooper is sending a new message to Colorado citizens: climate change is coming, the state is not going to do much to try and stop it, and you need to adapt, baby, adapt.

Weighing in at 93 pages, Colorado’s new Climate Action Plan is a slick, glossy, amalgam of smooth rhetoric, pretty pictures and soft-ball recommendations. In addition the plan purposely obscures uncomfortable facts. For example:

  • On page 3, the plan says that greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado will decrease “per unit of Gross State Product” but omits discussing that actual greenhouse gas emissions have and will continue to increase due to population growth and increased fracking for oil and gas.
  • Later on page 19, the plan finally shows a graph indicating that actual greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 77 percent from 1990 to 2030—and all through Hickenlooper’s eight-year reign as governor—but completely fails to mention or discuss this startling fact.
  • Throughout, the plan discusses the impacts that climate change will have on Colorado—on water, public health, agriculture and ecosystems—but fails to sound any kind of alarm bells that bold and immediate action needs to take place.
  • Most of the plan focuses on soft-ball recommendations for “adaptation,” which means that Hickenlooper pretty much accepts that climate change will happen rather than that he will be working to stop it.
  • Finally the plan has the audacity to actually say, “Colorado is on the right track.”

Colorado climate change emissions will increase by 77 percent from 1990-2030, but the Climate Action Plan says "Colorado is on the right track."

A draft of the Climate Action Plan was secretly sent out for review a few months ago to “selected stakeholders,” rather than opened up for broad public comment. This decision to keep the public outside the process continues in a long line of Hickenlooper’s actions to circumvent authentic public input about his aggressive pro-fossil fuel policies and drill, baby, drill mindset.

Colorado is a political swing state that is often in the crosshairs of national elections. As we head into the 2016 election, the level of caution of state level Democrats is increasing as the months go by, and so we should expect even more tepid responses, or worse, to climate change and other fossil fuel controversies. And now with this final Climate Action Plan, Gov. Hickenlooper is sending a new message to Colorado citizens: climate change is coming, the state is not going to do much to try and stop it, and you need to adapt, baby, adapt.

Gary Wockner, PhD, is an environmental activist based in Fort Collins. Contact Gary at Gary@GaryWockner.com.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

How the Oil & Gas Industry Turned Colorado From Blue to Red

Fracking Boom Bursts in Face of Low Oil Prices

What the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know About Fracking

Koch Brothers: Apocalyptical Forces of Ignorance and Greed, Says RFK Jr.

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less
Monarch butterflies in Mexico's Oyamel forest in Michoacan, Mexico after migrating from Canada. Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty Images

By D. André Green II

One of nature's epic events is underway: Monarch butterflies' fall migration. Departing from all across the United States and Canada, the butterflies travel up to 2,500 miles to cluster at the same locations in Mexico or along the Pacific Coast where their great-grandparents spent the previous winter.

Read More Show Less
The 30th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on Sept. 17 introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners, each intended to make people "laugh then think." Improbable Research / YouTube

The annual Ig Nobel prizes were awarded Thursday by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research for scientific experiments that seem somewhat absurd, but are also thought-provoking. This was the 30th year the awards have been presented, but the first time they were not presented at Harvard University. Instead, they were delivered in a 75-minute pre-recorded ceremony.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch