Williams Needs To Stand Up
Sen. Angela Williams’ column in your February issue is misleading at best. She proclaims that “climate change is real … it is time we take real steps toward a sustainable future to protect our great state.”
And indeed she is in a position to take those steps, but she has failed to do so in a meaningful way. Instead, while she presents herself as pragmatist who is working to protect our environment and safety, she has catered to the oil and gas industry – as evidenced by comments made during town hall meetings, in speeches at the Capitol during Colorado Oil & Gas Day and on Twitter. This is the very industry that threatens our health and perpetuates global warming. What she fails to mention in her February column is that she:
· Accepts campaign donations from oil and gas companies
· Promotes the expansion of fracking in Colorado
· Is a frequent guest of Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) events
· Opposed last year’s Proposition 112 to increase setbacks for fracking (even though a majority of Denver voters supported it)
These may seem like fairly innocuous points until we remind ourselves that we are in a climate emergency. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (the United Nations body for assessing science related to climate change) advises that in order to avoid significant global temperature tipping points, we must immediately end investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure and engage in an immediate drawdown of existing fossil fuels (this includes fracking).
Sen. Williams and her colleagues in the Colorado Legislature must take these bold steps in order to make a meaningful impact on climate change. Time has run out for incremental compromises with oil and gas and it is madness to support the expansion of fracking and more drilling in our state.
I’m calling on Sen. Williams to stop perpetuating the myth that our economy is dependent on an industry that leads to our demise. It is possible to protect our environment while protecting displaced oil and gas workers. If she sincerely wants to take “real steps” toward a sustainable future, she will start standing up to destructive oil and gas interests that threaten our future and undermine the creation of a new green economy.
Charlene Parris, Park Hill
CU Regents Should Reject Mark Kennedy
Members of the CU Regents Board should do a thorough and transparent analysis of Mark Kennedy’s easily searchable congressional voting record before offering him the job of president of the University of Colorado.
I am alarmed by a litany of his congressional votes on civil rights. Congressman Kennedy voted yes on increasing federal funding for health care providers that refuse to provide or even refer patients for abortion care, voted yes on banning family planning funding for providers abroad who counsel patients on abortion options, and has been a full-throated supporter of the extremist anti-choice movement.
He voted yes on banning gay marriage, even cosponsoring a “Marriage Protection Amendment.” His public health record is equally dismal, and he received a zero percent rating from the American Public Health Association for repeatedly voting to limit health care access for patients on Medicaid. He voted to build a fence at the US/Mexico border.
His past sends a terrible message to the students and staff at CU campuses, many of whom are studying to become health care providers, many of whom have needed access to reproductive health care including abortion care, many of whom are LGBTQ+, and many of whom are immigrants and the children of immigrants.
His background does not rise to the level of president of Colorado’s flagship university that values diversity, human rights, academic research, science, and educational freedom of thought. The regents should vote no.
Vicki Cowart, President and CEO
of the Rocky Mountains
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