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Opinion Columns

Opinion: An open letter to Colorado senatorial candidates

Dear Colorado Senatorial Candidates, 

We are a group of Coloradans concerned about our environment and climate. We are facing a climate crisis. The position you are running for will play an important role in our ability to solve the crisis before it’s too late. The urgency of the situation compelled us to send you this letter. 

Our state has seen years of prolonged drought, catastrophic forest fires, epic flooding, and unpredictable snowfall. Climate crisis is having an unprecedented impact on our lifestyle and threatens the future of our children.

The scientists have told us that we have at most 11 years to reduce the carbon emissions by almost half to prevent the worst consequences. To meet that goal, we need federal legislation to cut emissions across the board and lead a rapid global emissions reduction through collaboration with other countries. 

As you know, it’s unlikely for any climate legislation to pass in the current Congress. When the next Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3, 2021, we will have at most nine years left to meet the challenge. The clock is ticking.

As such, the next Congress, including the Senate, will have the duty, burden and honor to spearhead effective climate legislation. It’s a challenge that every single candidate running for the Senate seat in Colorado must acknowledge and take on with a sense of urgency. 

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

In early July, 15 candidates running for different offices in Colorado — including eight senatorial candidates — participated in a community forum in North Boulder.

Climate emerged as the top priority issue across the board. Nothing else even came close. Overall, Colorado’s Democratic and Independent voters consider energy and environment a top voting issue.

As the only fossil fuel-producing state other than California with economy-wide carbon emissions reduction goals and just transitions in state statute, Colorado is ready to take the lead in both state and national climate policies.

A senator from Colorado will be representing the constituents well by taking on the climate challenge. 

As such, we’d like to respectfully request that you: 

1. Sign the No Fossil Fuel Pledge. Return existing donations of over $200 from fossil fuel company executives, lobbyists and PACs. Refuse to take such donations in the future. 

2. Participate in the Colorado Senatorial Candidate Climate Forum organized by Indivisible & Friends, 350.org, and other organizations in Colorado Springs on Oct. 6. 

3. Put climate on the top of your policy agenda. 

4. Create or endorse effective climate policies that will meet the challenge. 

5. Suggest a legislative path for the climate policies to take effect as soon as possible. 

Thank you for taking on the significant challenge to serve Colorado and lead us to a healthy and sustainable future. 

Signed by: 

  • Indivisible Colorado Environment 
  • Indivisible Front Range Resistance 
  • Indivisible Denver
  • Indivisible North Denver
  • 350 Colorado
  • LOGIC Action 
  • Arvadans for Progressive Action 
  • SAFE Superior Citizens Action Group
  • Food & Water Watch
  • Colorado Sunrise Movement 
  • Colorado Rising