Republicans aren’t happy about Colorado joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, but governor says “this isn’t a partisan issue”

Source: By Jesse Paul, Denver Post • Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Republicans have been sounding the alarm over Gov. John Hickenlooper’s decision Tuesday to sign Colorado on to the U.S. Climate Alliance, saying his executive order lacked collaboration, could hurt the state and might even be challenged in court.

“The governor’s failure to proceed in an open, collaborative, bipartisan way means this policy never will have the stamp of public legitimacy it needs,” state Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Cañon City, said in a written statement. “This unilateral action seems out of character for a governor whose overall successes stem from his willingness to take centrist positions, follow common sense, and work collaboratively with all parties.”

Americans for Prosperity in Colorado said Hickenlooper “seems to be sheepishly trying to order the results that he wants without any negative impact.”

Hickenlooper responded to the conservative blowback Wednesday by saying his decision was “not a partisan issue.”

— Bruce Finley (@finleybruce) July 11, 2017

“We announced a Colorado-specific climate plan that seeks to place control of the state’s energy future in the hands of Coloradans,” he said in a written statement. “The plan is voluntary and the goals are aspirational. It is unclear which part of the plan opponents object to: cleaner air or lower energy costs to Coloradans? Suggestions that Tom Steyer or other out-of-state interest groups played a role in developing this Colorado plan are baseless.”

The governor also said that a recent survey showed 90 percent of Coloradans support increasing the use of clean, renewable energy.

Governors of New York, California and Washington launched the Climate Alliance last month, after President Donald Trump announced his intention to end U.S. participation in global efforts — namely the Paris Agreement — to reduce carbon emissions. States in the alliance pledge to meet or exceed the international climate accord’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Hickenlooper’s executive order also calls for a cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 that would be at least 26 percent below 2005 levels.

The American Lung Association and Colorado’s top Democrats backed the move. Colorado lawmakers have already required investor-owned utilities such as Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy to generate 30 percent of their energy using renewable sources by 2020.

The Colorado Mining Association and state Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, are among those also opposed to Hickenlooper’s decision.

Republican candidates for governor also questioned Hickenlooper’s decision, with businessman and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell saying in a Facebook post that “when I am elected governor, I will repeal this misguided order.”