Denver residents rally over emission standards

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Denver residents rally over emission standards

The children of coal workers join a rally at Lincoln Park in Denver on Tuesday where about 200 people expressed frustrations with proposed federal carbon-pollution standards. A slate of speakers from Colorado and the West attended, including GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez.

Denver residents rally over emission standards

The children of coal workers join a rally at Lincoln Park in Denver on Tuesday where about 200 people expressed frustrations with proposed federal carbon-pollution standards. A slate of speakers from Colorado and the West attended, including GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez.
Guv supports goal of EPA carbon proposal

DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday told The Durango Herald he supports the goal of proposed federal carbon-pollution standards, but he would like to work with environmental officials on the proposal.
The Democratic governor facing a tough re-election bid was criticized by Republicans for not denouncing the proposal being pushed by President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency, which aims to cut carbon-dioxide emissions.
While he supports the intent of the proposal, Hickenlooper said he isn’t sure a mandate from the EPA is necessary.
“We haven’t gotten to the details; we’re still working through that ourselves, part of that depends on the metrics. ... But almost all of us support that goal of having less CO2 in the air,” Hickenlooper told the Herald at an unrelated event touting the redevelopment of Denver’s Union Station.
Just down the street from the renovated train and bus terminals, the EPA held the first of two listening sessions regarding the proposed rules. The second hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Throngs of environmentalists and coal supporters attended the 11-hour hearing, in which administrators gathered feedback on the proposal.
The Obama Administration aims to cut carbon-dioxide emissions nationwide by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Colorado is considered well-prepared, and a target of 35 percent has been proposed for the state.
Hickenlooper, however, said he has been working with Western governors on the same issue without federal mandates.
He has been at odds with environmentalists over his support for hydraulic fracturing, despite the governor repeatedly stating his commitment to the environment. Hickenlooper opposes two proposed ballot initiatives that aim to allow local governments to crack down on fracking, suggesting that there are other ways to protect the environment, while balancing energy development.
“What we’re trying to do is we’ve been organizing the Western states to look at this. ... ” said Hickenlooper, a former geologist. “Almost every Western state is doing a variety of, whether it’s wind or solar, trying to put less CO2 in the air. Whether you’re talking about climate change or not, pretty much every state is doing that.
“If we can get the Western governors to work together, I think we have a pretty good argument to go back to the EPA and say, ‘Let’s moderate this, and let’s change this over here, figure out ways we can make it work.’”
Earlier in the day, however, Hickenlooper’s challenger, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, attacked the governor for not joining a rally near the Capitol opposing the proposed standards.
Republicans invited Hickenlooper to the rally, but the move appeared more politically motivated.
“What we really need is leadership, we are so devoid of leadership. People with a little bit of commonsense, a little bit of a sense of reality, a little bit of heart for real America. ...” Beauprez said to an eruption of cheers at the rally. “We have a vacuum right now, and if the current leaders won’t lead, some of us are willing to step forward and do just that.
“I’ll leave you with an admonition as American citizens,” Beauprez concluded. “Actions have consequences, and election have consequences, and if you think that we have been a little short on leadership in Colorado, you’ve got an opportunity in November to take Colorado a different direction.”
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