State of the Air: Colorado

Christine BergContact Christine Berg at cberg@momscleanairforce.org to learn more or volunteer.

Christine is mom to Sunny who is 3, and one on the way. She also serves as mayor for the city of Lafayette, Colorado. Christine advocates that regardless of borders, we all share the same air – our children deserve to have equal robust protections against air pollution regardless of income, political influence or geography.

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TELL GOVERNOR HICKENLOOPER: SUPPORT CLEAN AIR FOR KIDS

25,874

WE HAVE MORE THAN 25,874 COLORADO MEMBERS

Here’s what we’re working on in Colorado:

Methane pollution – Impacts to health and environment

One in three Americans live in a county with oil and gas development. Natural gas is primarily methane, a colorless odorless greenhouse gas that can escape undetected from hundreds of thousands of different sources across the oil and natural gas supply chain—from the well pad to processing facilities, to pipelines and everywhere in between.

Every year, the industry leaks millions of tons of methane and other dangerous pollutants into the air. These emissions could be cut in half by implementing cost-effective tools and technologies. But uncontrolled, these emissions represent the waste of an important energy resource, deteriorate air quality and increase our rate of global warming.

  • Methane is responsible for about a quarter of the global warming we are already experiencing. Over the next two decades, methane will trap 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than the same amount of carbon dioxide.
  • Methane escapes with other harmful pollutants that can increase ground level ozone, also known as smog, and impact public health.
  • The oil and gas industry is the leading industrial source of methane pollution across the country, and if action isn’t taken, emissions are projected to increase 25% over the next 10 years.

“Zero tolerance” on oil and gas methane emissions brings major benefits for Colorado communities

In 2013, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper called for “zero tolerance” of fugitive oil and gas methane emissions – a year later Colorado became the first state in the nation to directly regulate methane pollution. Each year, Colorado will reduce more than 100,000 tons of methane and nearly 90,000 tons of smog-forming volatile organic compounds — equal to the same amount produced by all cars and trucks in the state annually.

National efforts to reduce emissions are critically important. Moms Clean Air Force Colorado is working to ensure that the EPA continues work on existing source rule for regulating methane to ensure that every state is accountable for fixing leaks and curbing toxic methane emissions that can form smog, trigger asthma and even cause cancer.

“The Obama administration is on the right track with efforts to reduce oil and gas industry methane emissions, and Colorado is a shining example of how to do it right.” Denver Post Editorial

Oil and Gas Threat Map – Colorado has over 50,000 active oil and gas wells, compressors and processors in the state.  According to the Oil and Gas Threat Map, 256,000 Coloradans live within a designated threat radius with potential impacts to health.  This includes 6 counties which exceed the EPA’s cancer risk level of concern, 83 schools and 5 medical facilities (www.oilandgasthreatmap.com).  The threat radius is defined by the EPA’s most recent National Air Toxics Assessment analysis which calculates the risk of cancer and respiratory health issues. Look up your address and see how the oil and gas industry impacts your neighborhood and community.

Ozone – Many areas are seeing rising levels of smog, or ground level ozone, which is created in the atmosphere when heat and sunlight combine with oil and gas pollution. Smog is a lung irritant that can trigger asthma attacks, interfere with normal lung development, and increase the incidence of respiratory infections.

American Lung Association’s 2016 ‘State of the Air’ Report Finds More than Half of Americans Live with Unhealthful Levels of Air Pollution

Despite continued improvement in air quality, 166 million Americans at risk from health effects of unhealthy air, according to new report from the American Lung Association

According to the American Lung Association’s 2016 State of the Air Report, Denver is the one of the top 10 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities. The city ranked 8th worst nationally for its number of high ozone level days, and, in addition to that F grade, also scored a D for high particle pollutants.

A number of other Front Range counties, including Boulder, Arapahoe, Adams, Jefferson and Douglas also received an F for ozone days.

As Colorado families deal with the health impacts of oil and gas extraction, Moms Clean Air Force is educating families, policymakers, and elected officials about air pollution and climate change, and galvanizing parents for action to reduce pollution from the oil and gas sector.

A number of other Front Range counties, including Boulder, Arapahoe, Adams, Jefferson and Douglas also received an F for ozone days.

In addition to state-specific work, Moms Clean Air Force Colorado is supporting national efforts:

Mercury: We are supporting strong limits on harmful mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Climate Change: We are fighting global warming by supporting policies, namely America’s Clean Power Plan, that will reduce carbon emissions and decrease dangerous co-pollutants.

Smog: Moms Clean Air Force supports EPA’s proposal to strengthen national smog standards.

Clean Energy: We are ensuring that our energy future is renewable, clean, and healthy — for the sake of our children’s health.

Chemical Policy Reform: We are fighting to keep toxic chemicals out of the products we use every day, through joining local efforts to protect families from toxic chemicals and advocating for strong implementation of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (2016).

Natural Gas Pollution: We are demanding strong protections from methane, volatile organic compounds, and other harmful air pollutants associated with fracking and natural gas development.

Colorado’s electricity generation by source, 2014:

  • Coal (60.08%)

  • Natural Gas (22.47%)

  • Wind (13.57%)

  • Hyrdropower (3.21%)

  • Biomass (0.16%)

Colorado’s vast fossil fuel resources include the Niobrara Shale, with resource estimates running as high as 2 billion barrels of oil

From 2004 to 2014, crude oil production in Colorado more than quadrupled; in the same period, marketed natural gas production rose 51%

In 2014, 60% of the electricity generated in Colorado came from coal, 22% from natural gas, and 18% from renewable energy resources

Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard requires investor-owned electric utilities to provide 30% of electricity sold from renewable energy sources by 2020, with 3% coming from distributed generation

In 2014, Colorado’s grid-connected solar photovoltaic capacity of 430 megawatts was the ninth largest in the United States, and the state obtained nearly 10 times as much net generation from solar power as it did just 5 years earlier in 2009

Denver is the one of the top 10 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities according to the ALA’s 2016 State of the Air Report, the city ranked 8th worst nationally for its number of high ozone level days, and, in addition to that F grade, also scored a D for high particle pollutants



How to Call Your Elected Officials

BY Moms Clean Air Force ON January 1, 2017
We’re all used to text and email, and often that’s speedy and effective. But sometimes, the sound of a voice makes all the difference. Now is one of those times. Your members of Congress must hear from you on the issues that matter to you! Click here...

TOPICS: Activism, Alaska, Children's Health, Colorado, EPA, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Politics, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming
More Colorado posts

Upcoming Events

Past Events

February 2017

Congressman Jared Polis shared the story of Moms Clean Air Force member, Stacy Lambright on the House of Representatives floor.

January 2017

Moms Clean Air Force Colorado members traveled to Washington, DC to meet with their Senators and urge them to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head EPA.

December 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Colorado partnered with Conservation Colorado to host a town hall style event with Congresswoman Diana DeGette to highlight work in Colorado including the BLM rule, methane regulations, Rush Creek Wind Project and more.

Moms Clean Air Force Colorado met with staff from Congressman Polis’s office, Senator Gardner’s office, Senator Bennet’s office, Congressman Jared Polis, and Colorado State Senator Matt Jones.

November 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Colorado attended the American Public Health Association Roundtable regarding their “Year in Climate” efforts and met with Susan Pollen, Public Affairs and Advocacy Executive Director to see how Moms Clean Air Force can partner statewide and nationally on their public policy campaign to build awareness around climate change and its impact on public health.

September 2016

Field organizer, Christine Berg organized a press event with State Representative Joe Salazar, Thornton Councilman, Josh Zygielbaum, community leaders and concerned parents at a neighborhood park next to a well site that has recently leaked to discuss the new data in a report that highlights a public health threat to Denver Metro Area residents and Latino communities in particular. The group urged continued enforcement on existing rules and strengthening efforts to crack down on air emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Speakers included:

State Representative, Joe Salazar

Thornton City Councilman, Josh Zygielbaum

Sara Loflin, League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradoans (LOGIC)

Stacy Lambright, Impacted Mom

Arturo Garcia, Father, Cancer survivor

August 2016

Moms Clean Air Force Colorado hosted a hike with Colorado Lt. Governor Donna Lynne in Boulder. Participants hiked Sawhill Ponds Trailhead, a gentle 1.8 mile hike full of ponds and wildlife.

July 2016

Field organizer, Christine Berg hosted an event on methane and the threat map.

Colorado Supermom, Anne Ekblad, spoke at a telepress conference on the new methane threat map.

May 2015

Moms Clean Air Force Colorado hosted a Mama Summit in Denver.

July 2014

Members of Moms Clean Air Force Colorado attended and testified at an EPA Clean Power Plan hearing in Denver.

 

Exclusive Interviews

Governor

John Hickenlooper

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US Senate

Michael Bennet

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Environmental Scorecard

Cory Gardner

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Environmental Scorecard

US House of Representatives

Diane DeGette (District 1)

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Environmental Scorecard

Jared Polis (District 2)

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Environmental Scorecard

Scott Tipton (District 3)

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Environmental Scorecard

Ken Buck (District 4)

Contact information:

  • 900 Castleton Rd.
  • Suite 112
  • Castle Rock, CO 80109
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (720) 639-9165
  • Twitter: @RepKenBuck

Environmental Scorecard

Doug Lamborn (District 5)

Contact information:

  • 1125 Kelly Johnson Blvd. Suite 330
  • Colorado Springs, CO 80920
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (719) 520-0055
  • Twitter: @RepDLamborn

Environmental Scorecard

Mike Coffman (District 6)

Contact information:

  • 3300 S. Parker Road
  • Cherry Creek Place IV Suite #305
  • Aurora, CO 80014
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (720) 748-7514
  • Twitter: @RepMikeCoffman

Environmental Scorecard

Ed Perlmutter (District 7)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Take a look at what we’ve been up to in Colorado:

 

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