Conservation Colorado Executive Director Kelly Nordini released the following statement on the failure of Amendment 74:

Tonight was a victory by a diverse, bipartisan coalition against an oil and gas industry that poured $11 million into a cynical attempt to write their own corporate profits into our constitution. Voters saw this deceptive measure for what it was – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The only thing that the industry gained with their risky gamble with our state’s economy was an even further straining of their social license to operate in this state.

Conservation Colorado Executive Director Kelly Nordini has released the following statement on the results of state Senate and House elections:

Coloradans have spoken, and their values are clear: they want leaders who will take action to protect what makes our state so special: our clean air, wild places, rushing rivers, beautiful vistas, and diverse people.

We are congratulating dozens of candidates at the state and local levels who have prioritized conservation issues as part of their campaigns. Their victories will ensure that our state Senate and House will be led by conservation champions who will take action on the issues that are so important to Coloradans.

We’re excited to work with all of our state legislators to ensure that we continue Colorado’s national leadership on protecting our air, lands, water, and people.

Conservation Colorado’s top priority race was Senate District 16, and the group spent $350,000 to help Tammy Story secure victory. Senator Tim Neville’s repeated attacks on our public lands was a key factor in his loss. It’s clearer than ever that Colorado voters — especially in Jefferson County, a bellwether area — value our open spaces and wild places and vote with them in mind.

At an unprecedented level, Coloradans were energized and engaged on environmental issues in this election because they clearly see the threat coming out of the Trump administration and want Colorado to be a national leader. That’s why in the 2018 election cycle, Conservation Colorado and its political committees spent more money, knocked on more doors, and engaged more voters than ever before. Our activities included:

  • Endorsing 55 candidates.
  • Spending $4.6 million on direct contributions to candidates, expansive digital ad programs, direct mail, canvasses, and TV and radio ads.
  • Knocking on 561,375 doors in targeted areas across the state and making 2,735 calls.
  • Sending more than 150,000 texts, including 110,000 texts to Latino voters.
  • Mobilizing more than 300 members and volunteers to knock doors, make phone calls, and take action to support pro-conservation candidates.
  • Contributing $1.3 million in opposition to Amendment 74.

Conservation Colorado Executive Director Kelly Nordini released the following statement on the election of Phil Weiser as attorney general:

Conservation issues played an incredibly important role in this year’s race for attorney general. From day one, Phil Weiser prioritized Colorado values and pledged to address climate change, protect our lands and water, and ensure our state’s continued leadership on conservation.

As the Trump administration continues to rollback critical environmental protections, we need an attorney general who will stand up and fight back on behalf of Coloradans. Phil Weiser is that attorney general.

At an unprecedented level, Coloradans were energized and engaged on environmental issues in this election because they clearly see the threat coming out of the Trump administration and want Colorado to be a national leader. That’s why in the 2018 election cycle, Conservation Colorado and its political committees spent more money, knocked on more doors, and engaged more voters than ever before. Our activities included:

  • Endorsing 55 candidates.
  • Spending $4.6 million on direct contributions to candidates, expansive digital ad programs, direct mail, canvasses, and TV and radio ads.
  • Knocking on 561,375 doors in targeted areas across the state and making 2,735 calls.
  • Sending more than 150,000 texts, including 110,000 texts to Latino voters.
  • Mobilizing more than 300 members and volunteers to knock doors, make phone calls, and take action to support pro-conservation candidates.
  • Contributing $1.3 million in opposition to Amendment 74.

Ballot measures

Written by Conservation Colorado staff

✅ Amendments Y and Z – YES Congressional and Legislative Redistricting

 Amendment 74 – NO Just Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation

 Proposition 109 – NO  Authorize Bonds for Transportation Projects

✅ Proposition 110 – YES Increase Sales Tax to Fund Transportation

✅ Proposition 112 – YES Setback Requirement for Oil and Gas Development

✅ Denver County: Measure 2A – YES Denver Parks and Open Space Sales Tax

Fair Maps Colorado


Official Ballot Envelope☑ YES on Amendment Y

☑ YES on Amendment Z

These measures create fair and competitive congressional and state legislative districts. They will set up a new process that empowers independent commissions to draw district lines and keeps elected officials and lobbyists from drawing electoral districts because voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around.

Colorado’s population growth means we will likely have an eighth congressional seat by 2022. That means now is the time to improve our system for drawing districts. Together, these measures will help achieve fair and equal representation for all citizens of Colorado. Amendments Y and Z will:

  • Create balanced independent commissions (4 Republicans, 4 Democrats, and 4 unaffiliated voters)
  • Set clear criteria for map-drawing and prohibitions on gerrymandering
  • Limit the roles of partisans and courts
  • Heighten open meetings, public records, and ethical rules
  • Secure fair and effective representation for all Colorado voters
  • Maximize competitive districts

Stop Amendment 74 and Save Our Neighborhoods


☒ NO on Amendment 74 – “Just Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation”

A backlit, gold lighting oil rigIf Amendment 74 passes, it will allow any corporation or property owner to sue local governments over any law they disagree with, opening the floodgates to frivolous and costly lawsuits. Taxpayers would have to foot the bill.

When a similar measure passed in Oregon, there were nearly $20 billion in claims in just the first three years. These costly claims threatened funding for local schools, roads, and public safety. Oregonians ultimately repealed the law. Now Coloradans are facing a choice to repeat Oregon’s costly mistake or reject this risky amendment that will mainly benefit the wealthy developers and oil companies who wrote it. Amendment 74 is supported by out-of-state corporate interests who want to change the character of Colorado neighborhoods and our rural landscapes by giving developers loopholes to build anything they like, anywhere they like.

Although 74 claims to help property owners, property rights are already protected in the constitution. While 74 might sound good, it is really risky to amend the constitution with such a flawed measure. Once it’s in the constitution, the unintended consequences are permanent and can’t be undone.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT AMENDMENT 74

A Dead End for Colorado


Two lanes of congested traffic☒ NO on Proposition 109 – “Authorize Bonds for Transportation Projects”

Proposition 109 would dedicate existing state funds to projects that address road and bridge expansion, construction, maintenance, and repairs. These funds are not to be used for roads managed by local governments—88 percent of all roads—or public transportation. But Prop.109 takes $3.5 billion away from schools, public safety, and other vital services by forcing the state to reallocate existing resources and exclusively fund highway projects. We need a transportation system that invests in solutions, not one that will bankrupt our government and leave our roads in disrepair.

Let’s go Colorado


Four lanes of congested freeway traffic☑ YES on Proposition 110 – “Sales Tax Increase for Transportation Funding”

It’s been decades since we last changed how Colorado funds transportation. Our streets and transportation systems need improvement, and it’s time to stop the “band-aid” approach. Proposition 110 is the statewide solution we need. It fixes our roads; ensures local governments have the resources to meet demands; promotes options like walking, biking, and transit that reduce congestion; and ensures that we protect the environment by investing in solutions that move people, not just cars.

We need a new funding source to fix our roads. A sales tax asks everyone to chip in, including the 80 million out-of-state tourists who use our infrastructure every year. This proposition will increase the state’s sales tax by 0.62%, a little more than half a cent on a dollar purchase, to fund transportation projects across the state.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT LET’S GO COLORADO

Protect Colorado Neighborhoods


An oil rig near residential area☑ YES on Proposition 112 – Setback Requirement for Oil and Gas Development

Prop. 112 requires new oil and gas development projects to be located at least 2,500 feet from occupied buildings and other areas designated as vulnerable. Conservation Colorado has long worked to ensure a responsible, transparent, and accountable oil and gas industry, which has included efforts to increase the distance between oil and gas development and the places where we live and where our children play. Yet, the industry has blocked even the most modest efforts to address the growing conflicts between its operations and our communities, such as keeping drilling and fracking away from schools. Ultimately we must prioritize the health and safety of our communities above all else.

Read more at Colorado Rising.

Healthy Parks and Rivers for Everyone


A kid in a green jacket catches bubbles☑ YES on referred measure 2A in Denver

This measure will increase the city’s sales tax by 0.25% (about $3 per month) in order to create a dedicated funding source to address the city’s $127 million park maintenance backlog and help add new parks, rivers, trails, and open space. Denver is growing quickly, but its investment in parks and trails is not keeping pace with growth. One of six of our parks is in poor condition and in need of repairs. Worse, our park system is inequitable, as wealthier neighborhoods can make private donations to address their park needs while low-income neighborhoods are left behind.

The Denver City Council referred this measure to the ballot, and which will raise over $45 million in its first year alone to help make the dream of “a park in every neighborhood” a reality for ALL Denver residents.

Learn more at Yes for Denver Parks.

Voting is one of the most important things you can do to protect our environment and what you love about our state. Help us spread the word about Colorado ballot measures and how they impact the environment.

Conservation Colorado Victory Fund to spend $3.2 million on upcoming elections

Walker Stapleton has been named to the signature “Dirty Dozen in the States” list for 2018. This list, modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s federal “Dirty Dozen,” identifies the 12 worst state-based candidates for our environment and way of life running for state office across the nation.

In order protect the Colorado way of life and ensure that our Governor reflects the conservation values of voters, Conservation Colorado Victory Fund is announcing a $3.2 million political program to defeat Walker Stapleton and elect pro-conservation candidates to the state legislature.

“Colorado voters expect their governors to value our way of life and our land, air, and water as much as they do,” said Conservation Colorado Victory Fund Executive Director Kelly Nordini. “Walker Stapleton seems to be almost completely focused on drilling for oil and gas rather than making Colorado a leader on renewable energy, clean air, and public lands.”

Conservation Colorado Victory Fund’s 2018 program will be the largest political program the committee has ever run. It will feature a robust field program to knock doors throughout the state and include a comprehensive digital and mail program to ensure voters know where candidates stand from the governor’s race to the state House.

The reasons for Walker Stapleton’s inclusion in the “Dirty Dozen” are clear. As state treasurer, Stapleton chose to work for himself and side with special interests, not the people of Colorado. As a candidate for governor, he is running on policies that will benefit corporate polluters.

“When Coloradans need a smart leader who shows up and fights for their priorities, Stapleton would let corporate polluters and other special interests dictate the future of our state,” said Nordini.

Background

About the “Dirty Dozen in the States”
Modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s federal “Dirty Dozen,” the state version highlights 12 of the most anti-environment state-level candidates from around the country who state LCVs are working to defeat for the 2018 election cycle. Members of the “Dirty Dozen in the States” have consistently sided against the environment and — regardless of party affiliation — are running in races in which an LCV state affiliate has a serious chance to affect the outcome.

About Conservation Colorado Victory Fund
Conservation Colorado Victory Fund is a program of Conservation Colorado, a grassroots organization that mobilizes people to advance pro-conservation policy and elect conservation-minded leaders.

Paid for by Conservation Colorado Victory Fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Nikki Riedt, registered agent.

Here at Conservation Colorado, we believe that to protect the environment we need strong laws and policies, championed by leaders who share our values and are willing to fight for them.

When it comes to protecting the environment and our Colorado way of life, one of the most important elected officials in Colorado is the attorney general. Here’s three reasons why this office matters, and why we’ve endorsed Phil Weiser for the election in November.

Fighting the Trump Administration

The attorney general (AG) is the lawyer for the people of Colorado, and, as such, the AG can act on behalf of Coloradans and our values. The AG can sue the federal government, join “friend of the court” briefs, and speak up for Colorado’s rights. See this document from the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center at New York University for more information as to how attorneys general across the nation have resisted Trump.

Unfortunately, Colorado’s current AG, Cynthia Coffman, has thrown her weight behind the Trump administration and taken actions that are tremendously out of step with Coloradans. Coffman has undermined several key environmental laws, like the Clean Power Plan and curbs on methane pollution.

We need an attorney general who will stand up and fight back to force the Trump administration to do its job of protecting our waterways, land, and air. Phil Weiser knows that Colorado has a right to pursue its own path, and he won’t let Trump and DC stand in the way of environmental progress.

Protecting Communities from Big Polluters

One of the key roles of the attorney general is to enforce the law against big polluters. The AG is essential to ensuring that we are balancing economic growth with protecting our environment. As one observer put it, “…in enforcement of environmental cases, [the attorney general] can pursue strong judgments that repay the people…instead of the polluters.”

Here in Colorado, Cynthia Coffman hasn’t protected our communities from big polluters. She has sided with climate change deniers and the fossil fuel industry to challenge the Obama administration’s clean energy agenda. She has undermined Governor John Hickenlooper’s leadership on restricting methane from oil and gas extraction. She has joined a federal lawsuit to prevent cities from taking big polluters to court over climate change.

Cynthia Coffman’s record on conservation is a stark reminder of how important it is to elect an attorney general who will stand up to protect our communities from corporations who are just looking to profit. Phil Weiser has promised to protect the health and safety of Coloradans and the environment by working collaboratively with the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission and local communities.

Making Progress For Colorado

Attorneys general are able to shape policies that impact our lands, air, water, and communities. As the AG’s office represents state agencies, including Colorado the Department of Natural Resources, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, and the Colorado Energy Office, he or she has significant influence over how administrative policy is created and implemented.

Rather than lead the way on environmental progress, Cynthia Coffman has stood in the way. As just one example, she opposes the notion that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission should consider health and safety before permitting oil and gas wells.

We can count on Phil Weiser to work with our agencies to protect our environment. As attorney general, he will be a leader in addressing climate change, preventing unsafe or harmful oil and gas development, and protecting our public lands.

In November, with the end of Cynthia Coffman’s term and a candidate like Phil Weiser running, we have a chance to elect an attorney general who will truly represent our values – a welcome shift from the last four years. We’re proud to endorse Phil Weiser for attorney general, the lawyer for the people of Colorado. Weiser is facing George Brauchler, who is a favorite of special interests like the oil and gas industry. Surprisingly, he also just recently realized that water is a huge issue here in Colorado. While Brauchler is just beginning to learn about the environment while following the lead of polluting industries, Weiser will be a leader in addressing climate change, preventing unsafe oil and gas development, protecting our public lands and water, and prioritizing the health and safety of our communities.

Conservation Colorado, the state’s largest statewide environmental advocacy organization, announced today its endorsement of Phil Weiser for attorney general.

“When it comes to safeguarding our environment and our Colorado way of life, one of the most important elected officials in Colorado is the attorney general. As the lawyer for the people of Colorado, the attorney general has the power to act on behalf of all Coloradans and uphold our values,” said Maria Handley, acting executive director of Conservation Colorado. “Phil Weiser will ensure that Colorado prioritizes the health and safety of our people and our environment. As attorney general, he will be a leader in addressing climate change, preventing unsafe oil and gas development, and protecting our public lands and rivers.”

Phil Weiser added,  “I am honored to be endorsed by Conservation Colorado, Colorado’s largest state environmental organization. As attorney general, I will lead the fight to address the reality of climate change, not deny it. I will protect our public lands and ensure we have clean air and water, standing up to the Trump  agenda and suing our federal government when necessary to protect Colorado. I am proud to join Conservation Colorado, which has led the way for over 50 years to protect Colorado’s land, air, and water, to fight for our children and future generations.”

Weiser is a former dean of the University of Colorado Law School, served in the justice department under President Obama, and worked as a clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court. Weiser has made protecting Colorado’s environment a key part of his platform and has pledged to stand up for Colorado’s way of life. On the other hand, George Brauchler, Weiser’s Republican opponent, is a politician who is a favorite of special interests like the oil and gas industry. Surprisingly, he also just recently realized that water is a huge issue here in Colorado.

To protect what we all love about Colorado — our clear skies, wild places, rushing waterways, and diverse communities — we need leaders who share our values and are willing to take a stand,” said Handley. “We can count on Phil Weiser to do that. We are thrilled to support him in his bid for attorney general.”

Conservation Colorado today released its 2018 Legislative Scorecard, an annual look at how every legislator voted on key environmental bills in the state legislature. The scorecard provides Coloradans with the information they need to advocate for our air, land, water, and communities.

“Although this legislative session was a contentious one, we were able to move Colorado forward with several important victories: investing in our great outdoors, expanding the use of reclaimed water, ensuring responsible funding for public transportation, and increasing renewable energy options,” said Conservation Colorado Acting Executive Director Maria Handley.

Here are top-line results from the 2018 Legislative Scorecard:

Senate

  • The average score was 68 percent.
  • 15 Senators had a perfect score.
  • Female senators had an average score of 85 percent.
  • Senators of color had an average score of 90 percent.
  • The lowest score was Senator Jim Smallwood at 11 percent.

House

  • The average score was 60 percent.
  • 36 members had a 100% score.
  • Female representatives had an average score of 70 percent.
  • Representatives of color scored an average of 94 percent.
  • The lowest scores were Representatives Perry Buck, Justin Everett, Stephen Humphrey, Steve Lebsock, Timothy Leonard, Kimmi Lewis, Paul Lundeen, Patrick Nevill, Kim Ransom, Lori Saine, Shane Sandridge, Dave Williams, and Alexander Winkler at 0 percent each.

Handley continued: “Our victories this year show that Coloradans are passionate about the environment. Unfortunately, these values are not reflected in the leadership of the Colorado Senate, which once again prioritized corporate profits over people and blocked bills to protect our rivers from mining pollution, keep oil and gas drilling away from playgrounds, and limit our carbon pollution. That’s why Conservation Colorado will work tirelessly to elect a pro-conservation Senate, House, and Governor in November — to advance bold policies to clean up our air and water, protect our communities, and preserve our land.”

Conservation Colorado, the largest statewide environmental advocacy organization in Colorado, today announced its endorsement of Jared Polis for governor.

“Jared Polis is one of the strongest voices for conservation in the state and the nation, and he will work hard to protect what we all love about Colorado: our clear blue skies, rushing rivers, wild places, and diverse communities,” said Maria Handley, acting executive director of Conservation Colorado. “Conservation is a key part of Jared’s bold vision for Colorado’s future, which is backed up by his long record of fighting fearlessly to protect Colorado’s outdoor spaces along with the thousands of businesses and jobs they sustain. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work on behalf of such an accomplished and qualified candidate.”

Jared Polis added, “Conservation Colorado has been working for more than 50 years to protect Colorado’s wild places by electing environmental champions and fighting at the grassroots level for strong policies that protect our planet and strengthen our communities. I’m proud to have their endorsement and look forward to working with their 40,000 members to defend our public lands, grow our outdoor recreation economy, create good-paying green jobs that can never be outsourced, and make sure we can continue to enjoy our Colorado way of life.”

Polis will face Republican Walker Stapleton in the general election in November. Stapleton has undermined the benefits of renewable energy for consumers, opposes efforts to clean up air pollution from transportation, and openly pleaded with the oil and gas industry to spend more money on his campaign.

“The contrast between Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton couldn’t be more clear. While Walker Stapleton has pledged his allegiance to polluting corporations, Jared Polis is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Coloradans and the state we call home,” said Handley. “We need a leader who will fight for our families, and who will always put Coloradans first. That choice is clear, and that leader is Jared Polis.”

Conservation Colorado’s family of organizations is poised to spend millions of dollars in support of Jared Polis and state legislative candidates who have committed to protecting the environment. In 2016, Conservation Colorado invested $1.3 million on expansive digital ad programs, mail, paid canvasses, and TV and radio ads. The organization mobilized nearly 1,000 volunteers to knock on more than 76,000 doors, resulting in a 90 percent win rate in terms of candidates endorsed.

Written by Emilie Frojen

If you want to support Colorado’s environment and way of life, the most important thing you can do is vote for Congressman Jared Polis for governor.

We are proud to endorse Jared Polis in Colorado’s election for governor. He is one of the strongest voices for conservation in the state and the nation, and he will work hard to protect what we all love about Colorado: clear blue skies, rushing rivers, wild places, and diverse communities. Here are the top six reasons we are proud to support him in the race for Colorado’s next governor:

1) Jared Polis is a fearless champion for the environment in Congress.

Jared Polis doesn’t just talk the talk, as seen in the fact that he has a 100 percent conservation voting record from the League of Conservation Voters. He’s sponsored and cosponsored many bills to protect the environment, and time and time again has proven that he will follow through for our environment and communities.

2) He’s outspoken against the dangerous Trump agenda.

The Trump administration is doing tremendous damage to our environment and Colorado way of life, from rolling back air pollution protections from oil and gas wells to unraveling the progress we made in addressing climate change. He also protested against Trump’s review of our national parks and monuments, the proposed national park fee increase, and the shrinking of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments. His opponent, Walker Stapleton, is a huge Trump supporter and has opposed Colorado taking the lead on the environment in the face of attacks from Washington, D.C.

3) He knows we need to act on climate.

The drought and fires across Colorado this summer show that Colorado unequivocally needs to be a leader in climate solutions and economic growth. Jared Polis agrees and has bold plans to get Colorado’s grid to 100 percent renewables while saving ratepayers money on their utility bills and creating clean energy jobs right here at home.

4) He works to protect our public lands and outdoor recreation economy.

Jared Polis is the lead sponsor of the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness, and Camp Hale Legacy Act and lists it as one of his top priorities as a Congressman. This bill has been a large part of Conservation Colorado’s work over the past ten years and will continue to be until these wild places are protected. He is also a strong supporter of our outdoor recreation economy and the businesses and jobs it creates.

5) He fights for clean air, clean transportation, and healthy communities.

Jared Polis knows first hand what it’s like to have oil and gas wells too close to your home, friends, and family, and he has prioritized the health and safety of Coloradans above industry profits. He has also supported cleaning up air pollution from vehicles. Specifically, he stands for more, and better, bike lanes as wells as stronger electric vehicle incentives and opportunities. He plans to introduce new policies that will support the adoption of electric vehicles that will reduce pollution in our state.

6) Jared Polis fights for issues that matter to our communities.

He has been an outspoken supporter of the DACA program and was honored at the Latino Eco Festival in 2017. Jared Polis believes that Colorado needs to lead the way in building diversity in our economy that creates jobs and increases wages but also reduces the racial wealth gap.

 

We are confident in Congressman Polis’s passion and determination to make Colorado a better, greener state, but we need your help to win this next election. Polis will face Republican Walker Stapleton in the general election in November. Stapleton has undermined the benefits of renewable energy for consumers, opposes efforts to clean up air pollution from transportation, and openly pleaded with the oil and gas industry to spend more money on his campaign.

Conservation Colorado had a 90 percent win rate of candidates endorsed in 2016, and we need your help to make that 100 percent this November. Support our election work here to help make Jared Polis Colorado’s next governor.