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The Colorado Democratic Party on Thursday jumped on this week’s assertion by Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl that she would address climate change by getting the state’s “oil and gas workers back to work.”
In a written statement Thursday, Colorado Democratic Party spokesperson Kailee Stiles responded:
“Colorado has a year-long fire season, and pollution smog covers the Front Range on a regular basis. Ganahl’s solution to climate change is to make it worse with more of the same politics that caused the climate crisis in the first place. Her loyalty is clearly to the oil and gas lobby, not to Coloradans.”
Speaking Tuesday at the Colorado Water Congress forum in Steamboat Springs, Ganahl, a CU Regent who is challenging incumbent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis in the Nov. 8 election, was reportedly asked by someone in the audience how she would address climate change.
This came after Ganahl, rather than sticking to the primary forum topic of water and the dire state of the Colorado River Basin, delivered her lengthy stump speech on school choice, the fentanyl crisis, COVID regulations and teen suicide.
On the topic of water, she finally said, according to Colorado Politics: “I will have a plan Day One to protect Colorado water, our most valuable natural resource. It’s vital for clean drinking, water, agriculture, food, security, energy, wildlife recreation.”
Numerous studies have pointed to manmade climate change, caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the releasing of carbon into the atmosphere, as a critical factor that’s warming the state, reducing its mountain snowpack and diminishing the flow of the Colorado River.
Asked how best to address climate change, Ganahl said she would get Colorado oil and gas workers “back to work” as part of an “all of the above energy approach” because the state’s fossil fuel sector produces cleaner energy than other options.
“There is absolutely no reason for us to not produce the energy and instead go to Russia, Venezuela, Iran,” she said. The United States has banned fossil fuel imports from Russia in the wake of its invasion of Crimea and does not import oil from Iran and Venezuela.
Polis stayed on topic and said the state must be smarter about growth, water use, storage and other policies as Colorado continues to see warmer temperatures due to climate change.
“We cannot afford the water profile of unlimited exurban sprawl,” Polis reportedly said, calling for greater water efficiency and sustainability. “When we look at other states, we see the sobering warnings of growing desert cities without water sources, new developments that are either left all but abandoned or engaging in buy and dry.”