In late June, a blistering heatwave settled over the Pacific Northwest, shattering high-temperature records from California to Canada. Hundreds of outdoor laborers or those who lacked air conditioning were hospitalized for heat-related ailments, and dozens died. Portland’s transit operator suspended rail service because of heat-damaged cables, while highways in Washington were closed due to buckling asphalt.
Governor Jared Polis (D-CO) ran and won on a platform of 100% renewables and climate action. However, his recent threat to veto SB21-200: Reduce Greenhouse Gases Increase Environmental Justice, calls into question where Polis’s allegiances truly lie.
Earlier today, to celebrate the beginning of Climate Week, climate advocates and state legislators stated the need for environmental justice and climate legislation in Colorado.
The pandemic has already critically wounded U.S. territories by shutting down their major economic driver: tourism. But another global crisis is already well underway in the form of climate change, which could prove to be devastating to U.S. insular areas (U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as freely associated states).
A coalition of environmental advocacy groups and community leaders delivered a letter last Wednesday to Colorado Governor Jared Polis urging him and state leaders to produce a more comprehensive assessment of the oil and gas industry’s impact on climate change — and to phase out oil-and-gas production by 2030.
A report released last Tuesday by the environmental group 350 Colorado found that 70% of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from the oil and gas industry.
Politicians from Colorado both at the local and federal level are pointing to climate change as a national security threat that needs to be taken seriously.
If I know one thing for sure, it’s that 2020 is anything but a typical election year. When casting their ballot this year, voters in Colorado will need to worry about more than updating their voter registration, bringing their ID, or finding their polling location. In 2020, voters will also need to wear a mask to protect themselves from a global pandemic, as COVID-19 cases once again rise across Colorado. Voters will also need to navigate the climate catastrophe raging outside. For those voting in person, masks will serve a dual function: protecting them from COVID-19 and protecting their lungs from the toxic wildfire smoke.
WASHINGTON DC– With climate change on the minds of voters across the country heading into the 2020 election, a U.S. House panel met Friday to debate a bill boosting technology that would trap and store carbon dioxide, the principal gas causing global warming, from major polluters like the transportation and industrial sectors.