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Coloradans: Protect Public Health, Pause Oil and Gas Extraction During Pandemic

Thousands of Coloradans, twenty-four organizations submit petition to Governor Jared Polis to protect air quality during a respiratory pandemic

WildEarth Guardians joined 23 other Colorado nonprofits and over 1,600 individuals calling on Governor Jared Polis, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and State Land Board to take immediate action to protect those most vulnerable to risks of COVID-19 by halting all fossil fuel activities and the resulting hazardous pollution during the COVID-19 crisis. Across Colorado, poor air quality disproportionately impacts the elderly, low-income communities and people of color; those who are already most impacted by the pandemic and economic downturn.

Experts around the world have warned that air pollution makes people more vulnerable to COVID-19, stating that those at the highest risk include populations with pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory disease. Colorado’s poor air quality is a major driver for respiratory illness across the state, resulting in more than 32,000 child asthma attacks annually.

“For our health and welfare, we’re pleading with Governor Polis to pause fossil fuel production and give people a chance to focus on protecting themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Jeremy Nichols, Climate and Energy Program Director for WildEarth Guardians.  “In light of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s more critical than ever to defend our clean air and put people before polluters.”

Read the press release.

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