In Gunnison and Chaffee counties, each new season brings us glaring reminders of the changing climate.

Whether it’s record-sized wildfires, less snowpack, decreasing stream flows or altered growing seasons – we see human-caused changes to the climate happening, and they’re happening fast. 

 There aren’t enough politicians who understand that climate change is stretching us to our limits, which is why we’re grateful for state Sen. Kerry Donovan’s courageous support of SB 200, Reduce Greenhouse Gases Increase Environmental Justice. Rural Colorado is lucky to have her defending our best interests. SB 200 has now been rolled into HB 1266, Environmental Justice Disproportionate Impacted Community, which pursues many of the same goals.

 This past January, Governor Polis released his Greenhouse Gas Roadmap, an important step in addressing climate change in our state. But it quickly became clear that Polis’ roadmap needs teeth – actions that are measurable, enforceable and equitable. This is why we support HB 1266, because we believe that to decrease pollution, you need to increase justice in the communities most impacted by its harms and hold polluters accountable.

 As members of Tri-State Generation & Transmission, we are proud ratepayers to our local electric cooperative. We are hopeful and excited by Tri-State’s recent climate goals, but we want legislation which ensures these goals will be met.

As amendments are made to HB 1266 in the Senate, we want utilities to be held to their word through enforceable measures, and to check them on coal imports from Wyoming and Arizona, guaranteeing emissions reductions from electricity being imported from out-of-state and consumed by Coloradans. We hope to see Sen. Kerry Donovan continue to support these measures boldly, and protect our future.

Frank Stern, Gunnison County; Susan Greiner, Chaffee County; Jeff Delaney, Gunnison County; Sandy Long, Chaffee County; Terri Lukas, Chaffee County; Sonda Donovan, Gunnison County and Kent Wood, Chaffee County

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