CEA Releases Annual Report, Celebrates a Decade of Speaking Truth to Power

The end of 2015 represents an important milestone for Clean Energy Action. Founded in 2005 to oppose the construction of Colorado’s last coal-fired power plant, Comanche 3, we are proud of the organization that has evolved over a decade of powerful action and catalytic research on behalf of our climate.

As we celebrate a decade of speaking truth to power, this report focuses on CEA’s most significant achievements with an emphasis on the last two years.

View the Report Now

Even as we pause to reflect on these accomplishments, we cannot ignore the growing urgency of the climate crisis nor can we forget the widespread damage our changing climate has already inflicted.

While we have been able to accomplish a great deal with very little thus far, even greater change is needed. We need to continue to grow our revenue and expand our appeal in order to hire new staff, deepen our research and multiply our impact. We look to you for continued and generous support – together we can accelerate the pace of change in this next, most pivotal decade.

View the Report Here

Update on Municipalization: The PUC Process

Update on Municipalization: The PUC Process

6 pm to 7:45 pm
Monday, November 16, 2015
Boulder Main Public Library

Boulder Creek Room – Main Floor

Light refreshments will be served at 5:30 pm

Please join Clean Energy Action, Empower Our Future, New Era Colorado, 350 Colorado, and other local groups for an update from:
Deb Kalish, Assistant City Attorney, City of Boulder

Encyclical to Action

Nov. 23, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Regis University, 3333 Regis Blvd, Denver, CO 80221
A $10 contribution to event host Natural Capitalism Solutions is required.

Register here!

Pope Francis’ Laudato Si encyclical states, “…faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet… In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people.”

“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”

“I appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone.”

In that spirit, join leaders from the business, government, and faith communities; hear success stories; and co-create what YOU can do to implement meaningful change.

A few of the thought leaders who will be speaking include:

Former CO Governor Bill Ritter: Center for New Energy Economy

Richard Cizik: President, The New Evangelical Partnership

Hunter Lovins: President, Natural Capitalism Solutions

Russell Greene: Executive VP Operations  and Sustainability, Cheesecake Factory

Register to join us here!

Infrared Video Reveals Gas Leaks

More than Meets the Eye

While the naked eye cannot detect methane, infrared photography can. Forward looking infrared technology – the same thermal imaging technology used by the military  to track targets that give off heat – allows us to visualize large plumes of methane and volatile organic compounds escaping from fracking sites.

Be the Change and Earth Works put this technology to use, surveying 24 fracking sites in Colorado, facilities regulated by state rules that Governor Hickenlooper has called a “model demonstrating the success that can come from collaboration.” The infrared video shows gas leaks of startling size.

Phil Doe, Environmental Director of Be the Change, expressed his skepticism of the effectiveness of these rules in his testimony on the EPA’s methane emissions regulations.

Operationally, these sites are governed by Colorado’s new air quality rules.  Oil and gas interests inevitably refer to these rules, implemented in 2013, as the strongest air quality rules devised by any state to regulate fracking pollution.  They are in fact stronger than EPA’s proposed rules, for they measure more oil field pollution sites, though not all, and are not limited to just new wells as in EPA’s proposed rule.  Still the question remains, is public health and wellbeing actually being protected by the state’s rules?  Will EPA’s weaker rules add any substantive protection for the public’s health?

Watch some of the videos and decide for yourself if Colorado’s rules are serving public wellbeing. If you are struck by the volume of these leaks, know that it is (highly) unlikely that action by the Governor’s Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will change things for the better. Although the Governor appointed a Task Force to recommend rule changes for oil and gas operations, little material change appears forthcoming.

Rule Changes

A recent letter (full text here) from Jim Fitzgerald, a Bayfield rancher and member of the Commission’s Task Force charged with recommending new rules for oil and gas operations, helps explain the current situation at the Task Force. He wrote to the Commission describing himself as a “very disgruntled member of” the Task Force.

Jim goes on to point out that the Task Force’s recommendations  “are only a small portion of what [the Commission] should be considering for adoption.” Several “important proposals to give local governments more standing have not been considered.” How come?

The Task Force, charged with recommending changes to the rules, had its own rules changed. While decisions regarding legislation were understood to require a supermajority vote, Jim writes that “it was understood by many , if not most of the members that any proposal that did not require new or amended legislation and which received a simple majority of support” would be passed on to the Commission for consideration.

Yet after majority approval of statements concerning the public interest and local regulation, the Department of Natural Resources informed Task Force members that “all proposals would need a two-thirds vote in order to be considered for adoption.” Thus the Task Force’s recommendations exclude common sense proposals like:

  • Recommendation #7: “The public interest is best served when local government land use planning and permit processes work parallel with and in accord with the state oil and gas regulations and processes.”
  • Recommendation #2: “Amend the Rules of the COGCC to acknowledge that local government land use regulations may be stricter than similar COGCC regulations and that such regulations must be complied with by oil and gas operators.”

13 majority-approved proposals absent from the Task Force’s list of recommendations.

The rules governing oil and gas operations may change, as may the procedures for making those rules, but still the question remains: will they address the leaks we can now see escaping from fracking sites in Colorado?

Nov. 8: Screening and Discussion of This Changes Everything

November 8th, 2:00 pm
The Alliance Center
1536 Wynkoop Street, Denver CO

Join CEA and the Climate Courage Resilience Circle for a film screening and discussion of This Changes Everything,  Naomi Klein’s brand new climate justice documentary. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

Join the event on Facebook!

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Suggested donation: $7. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, but we gratefully accept contributions to support this initiative!

Seating is limited. Register here to attend the event.

Accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy