Current work in wildlife, rivers, public lands, and climate
Coalition Calls for Climate Action that Confronts Fracking in Colorado
“Colorado can’t frack its way to a safe climate,” said Jeremy Nichols, Climate and Energy Program Director for WildEarth Guardians. “As the state rises to meet the challenge of confronting the climate crisis, it’s imperative that we confront the state’s fossil fuel production and work to reduce and ultimately phase out oil and gas extraction.”
The call comes as the Commission is set to discuss three big agenda items at their monthly meeting today.
First, officials with the Governor’s Office, Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado Energy Office will discuss how the state intends to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals established by House Bill 19-1261.
This legislation requires a 26% reduction in emissions by 2025, a 50% reduction by 2030, and a 90% reduction by 2050.
Second, the Commission will discuss efforts to develop new greenhouse gas inventory rules for Colorado.
And finally, Health Department officials will brief the Commission on the results of a recent study that found significant health risks from oil and gas extraction operations in Colorado.
Advocates with WildEarth Guardians, 350 Colorado, Colorado Rising, and others intend to highlight that the oil and gas industry’s climate footprint is outsized and extends far beyond Colorado’s borders by virtue of the fact that the majority of production is exported out-of-state for processing and consumption.
“Without a doubt, Colorado is leading the way on confronting the climate crisis and setting laudable goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Nichols. “But comprehensive climate action means we have to tackle the state’s complete greenhouse gas footprint.”
Additionally, the groups will call for more accurate, “top-down” inventory of Colorado’s emissions using best available technologies. Research indicates that Colorado’s actual methane and volatile organic compound emissions are 2-4 times higher than the current greenhouse gas inventory, and benzene was underestimated by at least a factor of 5. Research shows the oil and gas industry is a major source of these emissions.
It’s estimated that oil and gas production in Colorado is responsible for nearly 200 million metric tons of climate pollution annually. This is nearly twice as much as the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions and equals the amount of carbon released by 51 coal-fired power plants. Colorado will need to meet and exceed the goals outlined in House Bill 1261 to achieve a safe climate.
Given this, groups today intend to call on the Air Commission to focus not just on slashing climate pollution within the state, but to enact solutions that quickly and steadily reduce and ultimately stop oil and gas production in Colorado.