Energy

Our “On the Issues” pages draw from speeches, interviews, campaign websites, our candidate questionnaire and prior media coverage, including our own. These pages will continue to be updated.

Steve Barlock

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility:  “The mission statement available on the COGCC website already lists the following first: “The efficient exploration and production of oil and gas resources in a manner consistent with the protection of public health, safety and welfare.” I support the current COGCC mission especially regarding protecting our water. I see no reason to attack private property rights under a globalist scheme such as the Paris Accord. I am proud President Trump pulled us out of this poorly written deal. On a state level, I will fully support our energy industry while keeping our people safe.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “Tyrannical measures and expensive subsides are not the answer to Colorado’s energy needs. We need to work with all available energy sources including increasing hydroelectric power, the original green energy which also provides storage and steady flows for our water needs, as well as maintaining use of clean coal, oil and gas in accordance with a free market to ensure abundant inexpensive energy.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Cynthia Coffman

“Speaking to a business roundtable breakfast in late February [2018], Coffman told the crowd no one has ‘stepped up and done more on behalf of the oil and gas industry than I have as attorney general.’ With Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in office, Coffman said she has had to step into the breach when it comes to protecting oil and gas interests. For instance, when Hickenlooper balked at appealing a court ruling that would require the state’s oil and gas regulator to put public health, safety and welfare first when considering development rather than trying to strike a balance between that and drilling interests, Coffman pursued the appeal anyway. ‘This can flip on its head the way that oil and gas has made decisions and whether now public health and environment and public safety has to come before any drilling can be done,’ Coffman told the room of business leaders, calling the ruling a ‘treacherous standard’ for Colorado’s future.” The Colorado Independent

“She sued the federal government over Obama’s Clean Power Plan and its pollution standards, and she took on Obama’s EPA after the agency caused a mine-water spill that turned the Animas River mustard yellow. On the state level, she appealed a controversial oil-and-gas ruling against Hickenlooper’s wishes.” The Colorado Independent

Lew Gaiter

In The Colorado Independent’s candidate questionnaire, Gaiter said he does not think it’s feasible for Colorado to meet 100 percent of its energy needs with renewable by 2040. 

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility:  “COGCC is -already- chartered with protection of public health, safety and welfare. From the COGCC website: The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is charged with fostering the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources in a manner consistent with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including the environment and wildlife resources.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Noel Ginsburg

My policies focus on spurring investment in renewable energy development and will expand our innovative green energy economy, protect our state’s natural beauty, and set an example for the nation on how to progress responsibly. It is good economics, good for healthy living, and the right thing to do for current AND future generations of Coloradans. Guided by my goal of reaching 45% renewable energy statewide by 2026 – one of the most aggressive goals in the nation – Colorado will be on a strong trajectory to reach 100% renewable energy.” Noel for Colorado

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility:  “I believe the protection of our public’s health and safety is a condition that must be fulfilled prior to any new oil and gas development.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “My energy goal, to derive 45% of our entire state’s electric generation from renewable sources by 2026 focuses on making progress in a future that I can be held accountable for, the next 8 years, or two terms as Colorado’s Governor. This goal, informed by industry experts, aggressively pursues increased adoption of renewable energy on day 1, and will be accompanied by policy that emphasizes creating a regulatory and economic environment that stimulates strong and rapid growth of renewable energy, and our renewable energy economy so Colorado can reach 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Mike Johnston

“Mike believes that Colorado should continue to lead the nation in moving towards a clean energy economy that meets the needs of Coloradans while also reversing the impacts of man-made climate change and protecting our state’s greatest treasures: mountains and open lands, beautiful rivers, and clean air.” Mike Johnston for Colorado

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility: “As we’ve seen with tragedies like the Firestone explosion, with the population expansion as well as new technologies in oil and gas extraction, it’s more important than ever to consider the health and safety of Coloradans and the environment. I was the first candidate to support the Martinez v COGCC case while ruled that that the protection of public health and the environment is “a condition that must be fulfilled,” and urged the governor not to appeal it.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “I am committed to making Colorado the national leader in clean energy and climate sustainability, and I was the first gubernatorial candidate to commit to a goal of generating 100 percent of Colorado’s electricity from renewable sources by 2040. I have a long voting record committed to putting Colorado on a path to lead the country in renewable energy and carbon reduction. As a state senator, I fought to reduce carbon and methane emissions, increase energy efficiency, and encourage the capacity growth of the renewable energy sector. As governor, I will continue to drive efforts to make Colorado a leader in implementing innovative clean energy solutions that respond to the challenge of climate change while strengthening Colorado’s economy. While our proposal focuses on getting Colorado to 100$ renewable energy on the Electric grid, I do think this will help us increase renewable energy usage in other areas such as expanding the use of electric vehicles that will plug into a renewable grid.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Cary Kennedy

“With strong leadership we can ensure energy demand stays flat even as our population grows. Last year Colorado took an important step in extending our state’s energy efficiency standard but there is more to do. It’s just common sense that energy efficiency means more money saved and less pollution. But energy efficiency is also a big driver of job growth in Colorado’s clean energy economy. Sixty-four percent of clean energy jobs in the state are in the energy efficiency sector. Investing in energy efficiency will save Colorado families and businesses money, drive job growth, and protect our clean air.” Cary Kennedy for Governor

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility: “The first role of government is to protect its citizens. The COGCC has long labored under the dual mandates of promoting the industry and protecting Coloradans. I was the first candidate in this race to come out in support of the Martinez decision. The state and local governments must have the authority to protect public health and safety, and the oil and gas industry is no exception.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “We can get close to 100% renewables and Colorado can be a leader again. But long-term aspirational goals aren’t enough. What we do in the next 5+ years will be critical for Colorado’s transition to clean, renewable sources of energy. We need to increase the Renewable Energy Standard in order for Colorado to meet and exceed the goals laid out in the Paris agreement. We can also take action now by guaranteeing 100% consumer choice so that any Coloradan can get 100% of their energy from renewable sources if they choose to do so.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Greg Lopez

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility: “The purpose of a mission statement is to clearly articulate the purpose of the organization, outlining the scope of its operations. It is the statement by which all individuals are to use to seek understanding of the organization’s ongoing purpose and focus. In addition the mission of the COGCC already outlines the need for public health and safety.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “Some will argue that it is feasible, however, that position is difficult to validate as wind and solar energy are not reliable sources of energy and require massive storage capabilities. Having a well-round array of energy resources is paramount for the future of Colorado. Diversification of resources and assets remains the most prudent approach to the maximization of energy resources in Colorado.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Donna Lynne

We’ve set real goals to reduce nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide and other emissions in our state. We’re making progress, but more must be done. We’ve already begun to see our energy providers make plans to speed up their transition from coal-based energy to renewables, and I applaud those decisions. As governor, I’ll work with our energy providers to continue the transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy production while keeping costs low for consumers, and ensuring that we provide retraining for workers who have been affected.” Donna Lynne for Colorado

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility: “Colorado has been a national leader on the issue of addressing health and environmental issues associated with oil and gas drilling, and we must continue to address health and environmental concerns as they arise.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “I strongly support the transition to 100% renewable energy, and I want to make sure we achieve that goal in a responsible and realistic way. I do not want to place an arbitrary deadline on the transition, but if there is a reasonable path to accomplish this goal by 2040, then I would be supportive. As the transition to renewable energy continues, we must deal with the issue of job losses in the parts of our state that are dependent on traditional fossil fuels.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Victor Mitchell

In The Colorado Independent’s candidate questionnaire,  Mitchell said he does not think it’s feasible for Colorado to meet 100 percent of its energy needs with renewable by 2040. 

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility: “The present regulatory framework protects public health and safety, but requires strong and vigilant leadership to get the job done.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Jared Polis

“For our climate, for our national security, for our health, and for our economic growth, we need a bold goal of 100 percent renewable energy. As Governor, I will work with all involved parties to accomplish our statewide clean energy transition by 2040 while saving Coloradans money on their utility bills, and creating green energy jobs in Colorado that can never be outsourced. Projections show that reaching our renewable energy goals in Colorado will create over 49,000 construction jobs and over 21,000 operations jobs while saving consumers 10 percent on energy costs. …According to a 2016 federal government study, the cost of utility-scale wind is now cheaper than natural gas. The onset of new energy storage technology promises to further improve the cost benefits of a fully renewable energy system, and the cleaner air and water that will come as a result of a 100 percent renewable energy economy will help reduce healthcare costs.” Jared Polis for Colorado

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility: “The COGCC’s mission should be to ensure protection of public health and safety. The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in the Martinez case that presently the COGCC has failed to do so, and I hope that the Supreme Court agrees with the Appeals court and that COGCC corrects course. Every industry has an obligation to ensure their activities don’t jeopardize the health of our children, and the oil and gas industry is no exception.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “It is absolutely achievable to get to 100% renewable energy by 2040 or sooner, and I’m proud to be running on a bold plan to get us there. Colorado cities and towns like Aspen, Pueblo, and Breckenridge are already leading the way in setting ambitious renewable energy goals. Making this commitment won’t just help fight climate change and preserve our air and water for future generations; it will also create thousands of good-paying Colorado jobs that can never be outsourced.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Doug Robinson

The natural beauty of Colorado is part of what brought so many of us here. We have to be faithful stewards of the land, ensuring that future generations can enjoy all the benefit our environment has to offer.” Doug for Colorado

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility: “COGCC is already responsible for ensuring that oil and gas development is done in accordance to public safety, wellness, and health standards. It’s important that all stakeholders have a voice in the oil and gas development process, and that’s what COGCC provides.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “I support an all of the above energy strategy including renewables, but oil and gas production is a critical part of our economy and it is not the role of government to pick winners and losers.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Walker Stapleton

As Governor, I will work with the energy industry with an understanding that new technology and innovation drive constant changes to the business practices of the industry. Further, Colorado needs a leader that understands we must present a stable business environment to ensure a low-cost energy supply that will attract and retain businesses in Colorado. Under my leadership, businesses can be certain that they will not be hit with agenda-driven, burdensome, job-killing regulations. …Together, we can safely develop our natural resources. We can have a booming energy sector, create thousands of well-paying jobs, and protect Colorado’s environment for current and future generations.” Stapleton for Governor

“‘This is a critically important election,’ he told a group of Republicans at a Greek restaurant in Denver one morning in early November. ‘The reason this is a critically important election above all else is that the leading candidate on the Democratic side literally is running to end the energy industry in Colorado, and I will not allow that to happen.’ He believes counties that choose to ban fracking in Colorado should not get severance tax revenue.” The Colorado Independent

Erik Underwood

We have to invest in our clean energy future here in Colorado. I will support all industries, that reduces the carbon footprint where we can keep Colorado pristine for the next generation. Its good for the economy, for job creation, and it is good morally to leave this place better than we found it.” Underwood for Governor

On whether health and safety should be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s primary responsibility: “I would dismantle the current commission and appoint Colorado citizens who are concerned about the environment.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

On whether Colorado could/should transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040: “Unlike my fellow opponents in my race, I will not give these renewable energy contracts to millionaire and billionaire friends. I would work with the state legislature in creating a entrepreneurial energy program here in Colorado where all can apply for State contracts and truly be a part of an energy revolution. I would help to create a state loan fund where average Coloradans can apply to become builders of solar, wind, and electric innovations to will get us to our goal of energy independence.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

 

Photo credit: Chris Goldberg, Creative Commons, Flickr