Our next Attorney General needs to be a leader in protecting our land, air, and water.  Over the last several years, our current Attorney General has undermined Colorado’s leadership in this area, seeking to undo the methane rule pioneered here in Colorado, providing bad legal advice to the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, and threatening our state’s leadership in addressing climate change.

We need and deserve an Attorney General who is committed to protecting the public health for our children and grandchildren. I’m running to be Colorado’s next Attorney General to represent our next generation and take on this challenge. From talking to my kids, I know that they worry about whether they will be able to enjoy Colorado when they have kids of their own.  They expect today’s leaders to protect our land, air, and water.

Colorado’s Leadership on Methane Emissions

In Colorado, we have our own way of doing things. We are innovative, collaborative, and we care deeply about our land, water, and air.  With regard to climate change, we are leaders in protecting our planet for future generations.  Guided by our Governor John Hickenlooper and the hard work from responsible leaders here in Colorado, we developed the framework that the Obama Administration adopted for regulating the methane emissions that come from oil and gas development.

Our current Attorney General is not one of these leaders. She has sided with former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and acted against Colorado’s interests.  First, she challenged the EPA methane rule after President Obama adopted it; more recently, when Scott Pruitt sought to scrap this federal framework, jeopardizing the quality of our land, air, and water, she refused to represent Colorado.  Consequently, our Governor had to hire private counsel to represent our State.  We deserve an Attorney General who will stand up to Scott Pruitt and protect our air quality.

Undermining Protections Against Unsafe Oil and Gas Development

In a recent case (called “the Martinez case”), the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission considered whether oil and gas development in Colorado should be “regulated subject to the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources.”  In that case, our Attorney General mistakenly instructed the Commission that it lacked the authority to evaluate whether the petition should be granted, setting the stage for an unnecessary and wasteful legal fight.  The Court of Appeals told our Attorney General that she was wrong on the law and our Governor urged her to allow the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to do its work under the proper legal standard.  Our Attorney General rejected that call and has doubled down on her bad legal advice, creating legal confusion and delays by appealing the case to the Colorado Supreme Court.

We deserve an Attorney General who is committed to protecting the health and safety of our people.  It is wrong to place drilling for oil and gas above any and all public health, safety, and welfare considerations.  As Attorney General, I will provide proper legal advice to the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission and work collaboratively with localities on this important issue—not sue them as a political stunt, which is what our current Attorney General has done by suing Boulder County.

Supporting a Clean Energy Economy

In Colorado, we are national leaders in developing the foundation for a clean energy economy.  As such, when President Obama acted to enforce the Clean Air Act and to protect our way of life, Colorado embraced the goals of his “Clean Power Plan.” Similarly, when the United States became the only nation in the top 20 in the world to turn its back on the Paris Climate Accords, our Governor stepped up to make sure that Colorado could meet its goals.  But our Attorney General has not represented us on this issue; instead, she has joined with Scott Pruitt, first by challenging the Clean Power Plan after President Obama adopted it and then by supporting Scott Pruitt’s destructive actions when he acted to rescind the Clean Power Plan as EPA Administrator.

We in Colorado have long recognized that a changing climate threatens our Colorado way of life.  Climate change threatens to increase the length and severity of droughts, reduce crop yields, reduce snowpack, and increase the risk of wildfires and flooding.  Our skiing industry, for example, is vigilant on this issue and is working hard to ensure that we have skiing in Colorado for future generations.  To prepare for a clean energy future, we have taken action here in Colorado to reduce carbon pollution in ways that are right for us.  Most notably, we were the first state to pass a Renewable Energy Standard by popular vote in 2004, and we’ve since undertaken innovative policies like the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act of 2010.

In the early 2000s, a number of State Attorneys General called on the EPA to act to address the rising threat of climate change.  In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court ruled for those AGs, declaring that the EPA had a duty to regulate carbon emissions.  Acting in response to this ruling, President Obama adopted the Clean Power Plan, which provides flexibility to the states to develop pollution-reduction strategies that work for them.  Because Colorado is a national leader in preparing for a clean energy economy, we were particularly well positioned to meet both the interim and final goals of the Clean Power Plan, and welcomed this step forward.

Despite our nation’s pressing need to reduce our carbon pollution and prevent the disastrous impacts of climate change, the EPA is moving to rescind the Clean Power Plan. But a number of State Attorneys General, including some from states who brought the landmark Massachusetts v. EPA case, are not going to give up without a fight.  Our Attorney General, however, is not representing Colorado’s interest in moving toward a clean energy economy.  We deserve better.

Representing Our Next Generation

The future of our air, land, and water should not be negotiable.  We have a moral commitment to our next generation to protect their health, safety, and welfare.  If we don’t act now to protect our natural resources, ensure that oil and gas drilling is safe, and act to address climate change, our children will not forgive us—and we should not forgive ourselves.  We cannot afford an Attorney General who joins Scott Pruitt to undermine important protections.  We deserve an Attorney General who works with leaders across our state to continue making progress in addressing climate change and protecting our land, air, and water.  Please join my campaign and spread the word about why we need an Attorney General who will do just that.

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Supporters
Alice Madden, Former Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives

“In 2018, Colorado has the opportunity to elect an Attorney General committed to protecting our land, air, and water. We can count on Phil Weiser to do just that.  Working for President Obama, he spearheaded the Administration’s effort to encourage smart grids to help us be more energy efficient.  As Dean of the University of Colorado Law School, he continued CU’s leadership in this area and supported students going into public service.  With a unique blend of legal and leadership experience, he will transform the AG’s office and make it an engine for progress for Colorado.”

Elise Jones, Boulder County Commissioner

“Colorado needs an Attorney General who makes protecting our land, air, and water a top priority of the office. We can count on Phil Weiser to do that and be a partner with other leaders in our state. We need our next Attorney General to be a leader in addressing climate change, preventing unsafe or harmful oil and gas development, and protecting our public lands. With Phil at the helm, our Attorney General’s office will be an engine for progress on these and other important issues.”

Tim Wirth, Former U.S. Colorado Senator

“Phil will be a leader in protecting Colorado’s land, air, and water. President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accords is contrary to America’s international standing, economic, and security interests, and our legacy of leadership around the world. In the face of this shameful abdication of moral responsibility to future generations, it is incumbent upon states and localities to protect our planet and address climate change. Unfortunately, Colorado’s current AG, Cynthia Coffman, has sided with climate change deniers, the fossil fuel industry, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to challenge the Obama Administration’s clean energy agenda and has undermined Governor John Hickenlooper’s leadership on restricting methane from oil and gas extraction. We deserve better leadership from our AG. Phil Weiser will provide it.”