EPA hearing on climate plan will draw big crowd in Denver
DENVER — The only one of four scheduled public hearings on the EPA’s plan to reduce carbon emissions taking place west of Pittsburgh is set for Lower Downtown Tuesday morning — and it’s likely to draw a huge crowd of activists on all sides.
More than 1,600 people are scheduled to speak on the record at the four hearings taking place across the country — Atlanta and Washington, DC are the other two locations — about the Obama administration’s plan to cut greenhouse gas-producing emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030, mostly by reducing emissions from coal power plants.
Analysts say the plan, which is very similar to a plan already being implemented in Colorado, could cut coal use by almost half, while boosting power generated from natural gas, nuclear plants and renewable energy. Environmental advocates say such a shift is long overdue. Many business lobbyists say the change could cause electricity prices to rise and damage fledgling industries.
More than 300,000 comments have already been submitted online and myriad local organizations are planning events outside the EPA headquarters at 16th and Wynkoop Tuesday morning.
A group of clean-tech businesses and employees plans to “highlight the benefits” of cleaner energy at a rally at 8:15 outside the EPA building.
Another group, “Colorado Moms Know Best, Moms Clean Air Force” will hold another news conference at 12:15 p.m. in support of the EPA’s proposal at the Millennium Bridge next to Commons Park.
And the national League of Conservation Voters is running ads on Denver’s airwaves in support of the rules, panning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its opposition to them.
GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bob Beauprez will join a number of Western Slope lawmakers and officials at a noon press conference near the Capitol that’s being organized by Americans For Prosperity, a free-market group funded largely by the billionaire Koch brothers.
“The EPA has chosen ideology over common sense policies and in the process is threatening to destroy tens of thousands of jobs and drive up the cost of energy,” said Dustin Zvonek, Colorado State Director of Americans for Prosperity. “Our activists are looking forward to making it clear that they expect Congress to rein in the EPA, stop these regulations from being implemented, and stand up for sensible energy policy that creates jobs and keeps energy prices low.”
Gardner hits Udall over support for air rules
On Monday, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner drilled Democratic Sen. Mark Udall for supporting the EPA’s proposal.
Udall was one of the first vulnerable Democratic incumbents to come out publicly in support for the rules when they were announced about two months ago.
At the time, Gardner didn’t have much to say and declined to comment in a FOX31 story about Udall’s statement of support.
Now Gardner is criticizing Udall for “sid[ing] with the EPA over Colorado”.
“We have a duty to protect our environment, but it can be done responsibly and at the state level,” Gardner said in a statement from his campaign. “Senator Udall should reconsider his decision to privilege unelected federal bureaucrats over the people of Colorado.”