Gov. Polis: sign the Colorado climate bill!

Oil and gas drilling in Colorado is a significant contributor to climate pollution. That’s why it’s critical that our community supports the proposed climate bill that just passed the state legislature and now waits for Gov. Jared Polis’ signature.

HB19-1261 returns the baseline for assessing greenhouse gas reductions to 2005 levels and seeks to limit pollution to 1.5 degrees Celsius worldwide. But importantly for Coloradans, it explicitly lists methane as a target pollutant.

Methane pollution is 86 times worse for climate than carbon dioxide. It is also the main component of natural gas, and the natural gas pollution (leaks and intentional venting) that plague the oil and gas industry. Methane is also an invisible gas, making it difficult to understand the extent of the problem. However, thanks to state-of-the-art optical gas imaging, special cameras make the invisible, visible.

I have seen the methane pollution spewing from oil and gas facilities from the Front Range, to the Western Slope and Four Corners. It is clear that the industry is a major contributor to our climate pollution and must be stopped if we are going to reach the proposed new climate goals.

Colorado is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. From the avalanche that closed I-70 this winter, to forest fires in the summers, Colorado residents know we need to act now. This bill will lay the framework for action, then the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission can create our statewide implementation strategy.