Leaders of environmental & community groups deliver petition to Polis Monday.

On Monday, leaders of an unprecedented coalition that includes environment, youth, business, faith and community groups delivered a petition to Gov.-Elect Jared Polis’ office. The petition calls for meaningful action to protect Colorado communities from fracking and to address climate change through a just & equitable transition to renewable energy.

“We call on Governor Polis to stand up for the 1.1 million Colorado voters who understand the real and serious dangers of fracking to our families and want meaningful protections, as well as 73% of Coloradans who are personally concerned about the issue of climate change,” said Micah Parkin, Executive Director of 350 Colorado.

The petition, which was signed by over 180 organizations and businesses representing over 100,000 Coloradans plus more than 5,000 individuals, shows continued momentum across Colorado for increased protections from oil and gas development and to address the climate crisis.

“The 25 organizations represented by Colorado Coalition for Livable Climate ask Governor Polis to take the lead in creating a sustainable future that focuses on renewable energy and the kind of bold action on climate change that is recommended by our world’s leading scientists and the IPCC,” said Hunter Buffington of Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate. “We must begin now with real climate action, measurable science-driven outcomes and with accountability of our leadership to meet these goals. Please consider each signature on the petition as not simply a request,  but a plea for action now, for the future of all of Colorado and the world.”

Last week, numerous groups rallied on the capitol steps demanding that legislators and the Governor-Elect make action on fracking a priority after over 1.1 million voters supported Prop 112 during the midterm elections.

“With over 6,000 drilling permits pending at the state level, about three times the number this time last year, it is only good policy for our representatives to enact a moratorium to allow time for science-based rule-making to be put in place,” said Joseph Salazar, Executive Director of Colorado Rising, the group behind Prop 112, the safer setbacks measure that missed passing by just 5.2 percent of the vote statewide. “Additionally, the Appeals Court decision on the Martinez case is standing state law, and to allow for this onslaught of permits to go unchecked is a violation of that ruling,” said Salazar.

Just one day before Polis’ inauguration, it is clear that many eyes will be on the new governor as he decides on his policy priorities. Demands in this petition include: immediate reform of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), increased setbacks, a moratorium on new oil and gas development until stricter regulations and proper health considerations are in place, and net neutral greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 or sooner. (Read the full text of the petition here.)

“We believe Gov. Polis understands the severity of these issues, so we hope we can count on him to take bold action that this critical moment in time demands and leave a legacy those who supported him can feel proud of,” said Parkin.

You can also read media coverage of the petition delivery here.