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Angela Simental, Conservation Colorado, 303-605-3483,

“Coloradans for Clean Air & Water” launch campaign to defend Colorado’s clean energy progress and hold oil and gas companies accountable

In response to the oil and gas industry filing multiple ballot measures that could roll back years of clean energy progress, conservation leaders launch effort to protect Colorado’s clean air and water and hold oil and gas companies accountable.

DENVER — A coalition of environmental organizations filed ballot language today to protect Colorado’s progress on climate change, renewable energy, and clean air and to hold oil and gas corporations accountable.

These measures were filed in direct response to Chevron, Occidental, other multinational oil and gas corporations, and right-wing organization Advance Colorado moving forward seven different ballot measures that would protect their profits at the expense of Coloradans’ pocketbooks and our environment.

A memo outlining the potentially devastating consequences of two of those seven measures can be found here.

“Given the oil and gas industry’s reckless and potentially devastating ballot measures, we have no choice but to act to preserve and protect Colorado’s climate and clean air progress. We will utilize every tool available to us, including working with our legislative allies, to defend the clean energy and climate progress we’ve built over more than a decade and that Colorado voters have consistently and strongly supported,” said Kelly Nordini, Conservation Colorado’s CEO.

According to a recent report, the clean energy industry provides more than twice as many jobs as the oil and gas industry. Public opinion research has shown that Coloradans overwhelmingly favor the climate and clean energy progress Colorado has made in recent years. Thus, the measures filed by environmental groups were designed to reflect the widespread support for clean energy, a healthy environment, and accountability for the oil and gas industry and its executives that are trying to influence state law in their favor.

“The reckless and extremely broad measures being promoted by oil and gas companies will have major consequences for Colorado and put our climate and clean energy progress at risk. If passed, they could undermine efforts to ensure Coloradans have access to healthier and more efficient homes and clean electric vehicles,” said Elise Jones, Executive Director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP).

In addition to a suite of bills to accomplish this work at the legislature, the measures that the environmental organizations filed today are:

Oil and Gas Accountability: Make the oil and gas industry strictly liable (meaning that a Coloradan does not have to prove cause, only that damages happened) for any damages it causes to human health or property due to spills, releases, fires, explosions, or earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing, or injection of oil and gas wastes, or contamination of surface or groundwater.

Clean Air and Water Protection: Allow Colorado residents to protect clean air, water, and public health by upholding oil and gas regulations in state courts and, if successful, to require the violating company to pay the resident’s attorney fees.

Right to a healthy environment: Establishing in state law the right of each person to have clean air and water, and a healthy environment and the ability to bring litigation if the state undermines their right.

A broad coalition has endorsed the environmental initiatives, including Colorado Sierra Club, Conservation Colorado, GreenLatinos Colorado, Healthy Air and Water Colorado, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.

“Our community, rooted in equity and environmental justice, has tirelessly championed meaningful environmental policies over the years. Now, we’re united to defend our collective efforts statewide, affirming our human right to a healthy environment” said Ean Thomas Tafoya, State Director of GreenLatinos Colorado, community leader involved in the mentioned ballot issues, and Co-chair of the Colorado Environmental Justice Action Task Force. “Despite industrial polluters’ attempts to gaslight the public, we stand firm, fueled by our successes in initiatives like the Denver Green Roof Initiative, 2A for Climate in Denver, & Waste No More.”

Margaret Kran-Annexstein, Director of the Colorado Sierra Club, said, “We know from polling, public testimony and through Colorado’s robust environmental and conservation community that people almost unanimously support clean air, water and renewable energy. These ballot measures represent the will of people who want to protect current and future generations from costs of the climate crisis and the exploits of fossil fuel corporations. We believe Colorado can continue setting a higher bar.”

Sam Gilchrist, Senior Director, West, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said, “These measures would help ensure that all Coloradans, regardless of the color of their skin, how much money they have, or where they live, have access to a clean and healthy environment. They will help protect current and future generations from short-sighted policy decisions, such as those that have lasting, negative climate impacts. And could fill in gaps in existing state law and policy, helping protect Coloradans from pollutants and toxics that currently don’t have set safety limits.”

Hilltop Public Solutions will be managing the campaign. Craig Hughes, Partner at Hilltop Public Solutions said, “Our initial polling shows extraordinarily broad and deep support for the environmental measures that both protect Colorado’s environment, and hold industry accountable for their actions. We look forward to getting them through the Title Board and beginning the signature gathering process.”