Mountain States

Colorado Democratic Senate Debate: The Top Energy Issues

Colorado’s Democratic Senate primary race heats up this week with two televised debates between former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. The first debate will air on 9News on Tuesday followed by a second debate on Wednesday aired by CBS4 and the Colorado Sun – which notes that ballots are being mailed out this week ahead of Election Day on June 30.

Energy and the environment are always heated topics in Colorado and the candidates have sparred over these issues throughout the primary. Recently, Romanoff even admitted that banning oil and natural gas development would cost Coloradans good-paying jobs, while Hickenlooper faces pressure from liberal voters over his past support of the industry.

Ahead of the debates, Energy In Depth poses 5 key questions on the top energy issues in Colorado:

Does Hickenlooper want to ban oil and natural gas development in Colorado?

Romanoff told Colorado Public Radio that he wants to ban fracking, but in a video event with climate activist Bill McKibben, he worried about losing good-paying jobs if the industry went away.

As governor, Hickenlooper was a strong supporter of responsible oil and natural gas development in Colorado. But this election cycle has seen the national Democratic Party swiftly move against this reliable, affordable energy production.

Does Hickenlooper acknowledge that the oil and natural gas industry brings high-paying jobs to Colorado? And will he support responsible energy development and the economic benefits it brings?

Do Hickenlooper and Romanoff support the anti-oil and natural gas ballot initiatives sponsored by Colorado Rising?

”Keep It In the Ground” activist group Colorado Rising is back again in 2020 with more ballot initiatives, including a 2,500-foot setback like the one that failed in 2018. House Speaker KC Becker has already said she doesn’t support them and Gov. Jared Polis didn’t support the initiative two years ago.

Will Hickenlooper and Romanoff get behind these ballot initiatives that would effectively ban the industry in Colorado and that voters have already rejected previously?

Do Hickenlooper and Romanoff support Gov. Polis’ push to classify Colorado as out of EPA attainment on air quality?

After his election in 2018, Gov. Polis quickly began the process of lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency to classify Colorado as a “serious” ozone pollution violator. This push to have the state classified as out of EPA attainment ignored all the air quality challenges posed by background ozone and instead placed the target on the oil and natural gas industry and other industrial sectors.

When Hickenlooper was governor and Romanoff was speaker, Democrats, Republicans, industry, and stakeholders worked together with EPA to make progress on air quality.

Polis has reversed that strategy. Will Hickenlooper and Romanoff defend their record or support Polis’ new approach?

Does Hickenlooper support the Green New Deal? 

Romanoff has said he supports a Green New Deal and even thinks it’s a “pretty good bargain” because it supposedly spends less than $550 trillion.

Despite his record of supporting oil and natural gas development, Hickenlooper told Colorado Public Radio: “I support getting Colorado to a totally clean energy economy as rapidly as humanly possible.”

Does Hickenlooper support a Green New Deal that would eliminate the state’s oil and natural gas industry and spends trillions of dollars on government-backed projects?

Do Hickenlooper and Romanoff support the climate lawsuit from Boulder and San Miguel counties?

In 2018, Boulder and San Miguel counties filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy seeking to blame those two companies for the impacts of climate change. Two years later, and after the defeat of similar lawsuits in California and New York, the two counties face as steep a climb as ever.

It’s probably why the lawsuit doesn’t have the support of Polis, Attorney General Phil Weiser, environmental group Conservation Colorado, or the Denver Post editorial board.

Will Hickenlooper and Romanoff jump on this moonshot of a lawsuit that barely has any support among other elected leaders and voters?

No Comments

Post A Comment