In response to deadly explosions, fracking health threats, and companies running roughshod over community concerns, Coloradans have demanded for years that the state strengthen oversight and accountability for the oil and gas industry.
In 2019, the Colorado legislature and Governor Jared Polis took an important step in meeting those demands with the passage of Senate Bill-181, a law that prioritizes the protection of public safety, health, welfare, and the environment over oil and gas industry interests.
This is a critical first step to protection of communities, air and water, and the climate.
Earthworks is dedicated to ensuring state government makes good on its promises for the benefit of all Coloradans.
These operations too often pollute the places where people live, work, learn, and play with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic substances that can cause respiratory illness, headaches, increased risk of cancer, and a range of other health problems. Noise, light, and odors from oil and gas sites also decrease quality of life and the value and enjoyment of one’s community.
Oil and gas operations also harm the climate. They emit large quantities of methane—which is 86 times worse for climate than carbon dioxide—making the oil and gas industry as bad for the climate as coal and oil, and perhaps worse. This is important because climate science tells us we need to drastically reduce all climate pollution in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C and avoid climate catastrophe by 2030.
Because we only have 10 years to cut climate pollution in half to avoid climate catastrophe, Earthworks opposes new oil and gas production and infrastructure permits.
Existing oil and gas operations threaten nearby communities’ health, now. That’s why Earthworks also supports strong safeguards to better protect air, water, health and climate.
Currently, Colorado doesn’t take important measures to reduce pollution from existing oil and gas operations, and continues permitting new ones. So, in order to protect health and climate, Colorado must enact rules and policies that result in the strongest possible protections.
Specifically, that means:
We are engaging communities living with the impacts of pollution, and compelling state public officials to protect health and the climate. We further work with local communities and local public officials to educate and support efforts to increase local oversight and protections.
Governor Polis has made promises to put public health and climate before polluters in our state. While we’ve made a lot of progress in the past two years, there’s still a lot of work to do, and the need for climate action grows more urgent each day.
For the sake of our communities’ health and the climate, we’re calling on Governor Polis to demand more of oil and gas polluters and the state agencies whose mission is to protect Coloradans from polluters’ harms. Join us by taking action now!
|Nathalie Eddy, Interim Field Team Manager and Colorado & New Mexico Field Advocate||Andrew Klooster, Colorado Field Advocate|