Securing political support for 2,500 foot drilling setbacks, abolishing the COGCC, removing public funds from banks who make loans to fossil fuel companies 

The movement against shale development has progressed considerably beyond a group of activists holding signs and shouting anti-fracing slogans in front of the capitol.

The “climate justice” movement, which calls its goal of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy “a just transition,” has established specific goals for Colorado.

Listed below are a few of the movement’s goals that appear on the Colorado People’s Climate Justice Platform, a document for which 350.org members are seeking signatories at the state’s political party caucuses starting today:

  • Protect our communities’ health and safety from fracking operations by establishing buffer zones of 2,500 feet between new oil and gas operations and occupied buildings and other areas of special concern, such as homes, schools, water sources and playgrounds, and by supporting local control on oil and gas development that is more protective than current state law, including bans and moratoria.
  • Replace the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) with one or more state entities whose mission is to protect public health and safety from oil and gas development and to promote renewable energy development.
  • Move public funds from financial institutions that provide loans to fossil fuel companies and infrastructure
  • Develop retraining and transitional support for employees currently in the fossil fuel energy sector
  • Ensure young people have education opportunities that teach the realities of climate change, and the need for action by individuals, communities and government

Taking the climate movement’s ‘just transition’ to the caucus process

The global groups have become extremely organized, distributing via email and social media clear plans and execution messages to grassroots members. The goal is to influence the upcoming generation of public policy makers to endorse their movement’s climate justice position—the anti-fossil fuel message.

And in Colorado, which the EIA ranks as the nation’s seventh largest oil producer and fifth largest natural gas producer, the movement is targeting the roots of the political process—activism at the caucus level beginning today. The caucuses are meetings at which local members of a political party register their preference among candidates running for office or select delegates to attend a convention.

Highly organized international politically active groups like 350.org instruct members exactly how to get individuals to make a commitment to end fracing, drilling and the overall use of fossil fuels. They do it through the political process starting with political caucus attendees in the caucus states.

Members are given a simple action plan and clear steps to gather signatures and inform upcoming candidates and caucus delegates that the people of the state want them to endorse the “climate justice” (previously named “keep it in the ground”) movement’s directives. They want state party caucus attendees and delegates to sign resolutions, take pledges and support or nominate candidates who will take action against fossil fuel development.


Today’s instructional email to climate action supporters

To this end, 350.org sent out the following email to its Colorado members this morning:

Today is the 2018 midterm caucus! Let’s make sure that bold climate action to protect our beautiful state and planet is treated as a top priority by candidates and the state political parties!

Here are 3 easy, but important things you can do at caucus: (click links for printable resources)

1) Bring several copies of the Colorado People’s Climate Justice Platform resolution and submit it for passage at caucus. (Arrive early to get them into the packets – You can read more about this process here.)

2) Encourage any candidates you meet to endorse the Climate Justice Platform – Here’s a version you can print for them to sign. (Photograph/scan the doc after and email to [email protected].)

3) Help protect our communities from fracking –  Print copies of the Colorado Rising: Pledge to Sign and bring a clipboard to collect signatures (or invite people to Pledge to Sign through your smartphone at www.corising.org/pledge) while folks wait in line outside. (Photograph/scan the doc after and email to [email protected].)

Don’t know where to go to caucus? First, look up your voter precinct here: https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter/pages/pub/olvr/findVoterReg.xhtml Then look up your caucus here for the Republican Party or here for the Democratic Party. For more information about the caucus process, click here.

We cannot afford to sit out this election and it’s in these early days that we can have a major impact on the tenor of policy. The fracking industry has launched an all out assault on the health and wellbeing of our state, and we need our lawmakers to stand up to defend our schools and homes.

With your help, Colorado can start to work towards a vision of climate justice and a just transition to 100% renewable energy that works for everyone. Already, over fifty Colorado environmental and social justice nonprofits are united under the Colorado People’s Climate Justice Platform, pushing candidates to endorse the vision.

It’s our turn to do our part as well. Show up to your local caucuses and push your fellow electorates to make strong climate policy a deciding factor.


Here is what they are asking voters, delegates, candidates to sign

The group’s Colorado People’s Climate Justice Resolution, for which the group is seeking signatories at the Colorado caucuses, is reproduced in full below:

V I S I O N

The people of Colorado want a state powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the jobs and opportunities of this transition are designed to systematically eliminate economic, racial and gender inequality.

We know that the time for this great transition is short. We are living in a country, and on a planet, already in crisis. Climate scientists have told us that this is the decade to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic global warming, which would require maintaining the temperature rise to 1.5-2 C degree above pre-industrial times. The time for energy democracy has come: we believe not only in changes to our energy sources, but that wherever possible communities should collectively control these new renewable energy systems.

The undersigned represent a broad swath of the Colorado active electorate. We call on Colorado candidates to endorse the following Colorado Climate Justice Platform [*Please see Climate Justice Definition at bottom of document]

E N E R G Y

  • Support the rapid transition off fossil fuels, recognizing the harm to public health, safety and the global climate
  • Support a rapid transition to 100% Renewable Energy by 2035 or sooner
  • End fossil fuel subsidies and ban new fossil fuel exploration, extraction, and infrastructure projects
  • Protect our communities’ health and safety from fracking operations by establishing buffer zones of 2,500 feet between new oil and gas operations and occupied buildings and other areas of special concern, such as homes, schools, water sources and playgrounds, and by supporting local control on oil and gas development that is more protective than current state law, including bans and moratoria.
  • Avoid false solutions and ineffective market-based schemes
  • Support transition to community-based decentralized renewable energy resources, including net metering, shared renewables or virtual net metering, feed-in tariff programs and consumer control of energy usage
  • Support demand reduction and energy efficiency programs
  • Prioritize clean, renewable energy development and community resilience programs in low-income communities and communities of color that have historically borne the brunt of industrial pollution, power plant pollution, transportation pollution, and all forms of toxic contamination

A G R I C U L T U R E

Promote programs and incentives to shift from a globalized industrial food system that contributes significantly to the climate crisis to a more localized, organically-grown and resilient food system that can help build and sequester carbon in soils and reduce fossil fuel dependence

F I N A N C E

  • Develop vehicles for public financing of a Just Transition
  • Generate municipal bonds and climate/green energy bonds
  • Divest public pension funds and local and state government funds from fossil fuels and fossil fuel infrastructure
  • Move public funds from financial institutions that provide loans to fossil fuel companies and infrastructure
  • Advocate for public banking in Colorado

L A B O R

  • Promote family-sustaining, regenerative, healthy, safe, and local clean energy jobs
  • Develop pathway out of poverty job programs that build skills and wealth
  • Develop retraining and transitional support for employees currently in the fossil fuel energy sector
  • Develop retraining and transitional support for employees currently in the fossil fuel energy sector
  • Provide legal and technical assistance and capacity support for community cooperatives

G O V E R N A N C E

  • Pledge not to take money from the fossil fuel industry
  • Support overturning Citizens United
  • Replace the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) with one or more state entities whose mission is to protect public health and safety from oil and gas development and to promote renewable energy development

R E S E A R C H & D E V E L O P M E N T

Increase funding for research on climate change, safe methods to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, improved renewable energy power storage, and agricultural techniques that maximize resilience.

E D U C A T I O N

  • Ensure young people have education opportunities that teach the realities of climate change, and the need for action by individuals, communities and government
  • Take an active stand against misinformation efforts aimed at confusing teachers and young people about the causes, consequences and solutions to climate change
  • Support schools to prioritize climate and energy education, especially schools with populations most at risk from climate change and the extraction and burning of fossil fuels
  • Make space for young people as key stakeholders at public events including candidate debates and town halls

Therefore be it resolved that we endorse the Colorado People’s Climate Justice Platform – signed …

Who is behind this action?

The Colorado chapter of 350.org is the organizer behind this particular action.

350.org says it was founded in 2008 by a group of university friends in the United States along with author Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public, with the goal of building a global climate movement. 350 was named after 350 parts per million — the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

350.org says it has a global network in 188 countries that “uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.”

In part, the group outlines its strategy as follows:

1) Keep carbon in the ground

  • Revoke the social license of the fossil fuel industry
  • Fight iconic battles against fossil fuel infrastructure
  • Counter industry/government narratives

 


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