I’m a day late, but I didn’t forget. How could I? We won!
After tweeting for five days straight, I shut my computer down with a sigh yesterday afternoon – only to return this morning to read the presses:
“Colorado adopts tougher air rules for oil, gas industry” – Denver Post
“Air panel toughens rules for drilling” – Grand Junction Sentinel
“Colorado panel OKs new oil, gas drilling emissions rules” – Greeley Tribune
“One step closer to safer air?” – Durango Herald
“Colorado approves historic air quality rules for oil and gas industry” – KDVR
“Colorado panel passes tighter air pollution rules for oil and gas operations” – Denver Biz Journal
“Air-quality commissioners stand strong, adopt tough new rules” – Colorado Independent
“State takes major step to clean up Colorado’s blue skies” – Colorado Independent
Needless to say, it was a big morning after a big vote yesterday. In the words of New Era, “you can’t spell l-e-a-d-e-r-s-h-i-p without many of the letters also used in C-o-l-o-r-a-d-o”
So, what exactly do these finalized protections do?
First off, they will eliminate 90,000 TONS of smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from going in our air via oil and gas operations – that’s the equivalent of what’s produced by every car and truck in Colorado each year. Second, Colorado is now the FIRST STATE in the nation to capture methane – 100,000 TONS of it to be exact. Those are big numbers and Dan Grossman over at EDF has a great blog explaining them if you want more information.
Who to thank?
First – thank yourself. We asked our members and supporters to take action numerous times over the past year and you responded by taking nearly 4,000 actions. Then, we did our very first email appeal series to raise money to help these rules get over the finish line and you came through by helping us raise $20,000 – that’s a big number!
In addition, the Air Quality Control Commissioners demand a tremendous amount of respect – from listening intensely to testimony for four days, to deliberating all day Sunday, they asked hard questions and were honest about their intent every step of the way: they are there to protect the health of Coloradans.
Then there’s the strange coalition that came together to compromise and move the rules forward – spearheaded by Governor Hickenlooper. It’s no secret he doesn’t see eye to eye with environmental groups on the issue of oil and gas, but he took a huge leap with these rules to make sure that Coloradans – and our great state – is protected. With cleaner air, we certainly are on our way to being the healthiest state in the nation.
From the oil and gas industry leaders that recognize that clean air is vital to their business, to the environmental groups that fought to make a move that will combat climate change – these rules are the result of an amazing collaboration effort.
Overall though, I’m amazed by the support I saw all over Colorado for these rules. Y’all dominated twitter with support (and we got the word that the commissioners were definitely paying attention) and you dominated the LTE sections of your local newspapers for months. These protections could not have passed without the constant support and pressure of united Coloradans.
So that’s that – I’m know you’re going to miss my daily musings, but I promise that I’ll be back with another action-packed blog post soon.
Your Communications Coordinator,
PS: I had to include this one last tweet just for fun –