Mountain States

CU Professor Behind Climate Study Has Close Ties to Anti-Energy Groups

When the City and County of Boulder, Colo. and San Miguel County sued energy companies back in 2018, they did so based on the fact that these companies were responsible for damages related to climate change that had to be picked up by the taxpayer.  Just a week before the lawsuit was filed,  a study was  released “summariz[ing] potential climate impact costs for Boulder County.” That report was written by Dr. Paul Chinowsky, founder of Resilient Analytics and a professor at the University of Colorado.

This particular study was specifically prepared for Boulder County and rounded up the potential price tag of climate change costs in the area through 2050.  On Boulder County’s Climate Lawsuit FAQ website, they cite the study several times as justification for bringing the suit forward.

Now, one year later, in what seems like a similar trend, Chinowsky and Resilient Analytics are back, this time writing additional reports on how much climate change will cost cities in Florida and elsewhere. These new analyses claim to lay out the facts of the “bare minimum” of coastal defenses that cities will need to “prevent chronic flooding and inundation over the next 20 years.” It also came out just before Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones is set to testify before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in an event at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

However, far from a clear-eyed examination of the current situation, this new project purports to accurately predict the future and reveals that Chinowsky and Resilient Analytics are working hand in hand with the anti-energy groups promoting liability lawsuits against fossil fuel companies. Which raises the question—was Chinowsky working with these groups all along?

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