Denver EPA Hearing Fuels Climate Change Debate

July 30, 2014

EparalleyDENVER—Anthony Delgado had a message Tuesday for Environmental Protection Agency officials as they consider enacting tough new emissions standards on coal-fired power plants: Don’t do it.

“They’re going to regulate us to the point where they’re going to close up the coal mines,” said Delgado, a coal miner from Craig. “In our community, that would close up the town.”

Delgado was one of dozens of miners and family members who rode in from northwest Colorado on five buses to take part in an Americans for Prosperity rally near the state capital to protest the proposed rules.

A few blocks away at the EPA building in LoDo, national environmental groups drummed up support for the power-plant regulations, insisting they are needed to combat climate change. The proposed rules would require a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030.

Organizers with the Sierra Club handed out free T-shirts with the message “I [heart] Clean Air,” while Climate Reality Project workers offered coupons for free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Petitioners from Conservation Colorado asked passers-by to fill out postcards in favor of the regulations.

At the hearing, state Sen. Matt Jones (D-Louisville) urged the EPA to “stay strong. Most regular people know we have a huge problem.”

“It is far cheaper to act strongly now, and I ask you to do that,” said Jones.

Those attending the AFP rally received red “Stop the EPA Power Grab” tees and stickers with messages such as “Coal/Guns/Freedom” and “Friends of Coal.”

Organizers said Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper was invited to participate but declined, prompting AFP-Colorado state director Dustin Zvonek to ask, “Where’s Gov. Hickenlooper? Why isn’t our governor here standing up for Colorado jobs?”

“We’re sick and tired of bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, D.C., driving costs up in our state while driving jobs out,” said Zvonek. “We cannot afford to let Washington do to energy costs what they’re already doing to our health-care costs.”

Hickenlooper’s Republican opponent, former Rep. Bob Beauprez, fired up the crowd of several hundred by declaring, “Barack Obama, these are real Americans and real American jobs!”

Other speakers said the proposed regulations would do virtually nothing to reduce global warming while making energy more expensive and less reliable. Among those participating were state Sen. George Rivera (R-Pueblo) and officials from Club 20 and the Boilermakers Local 11 of Montana.

EPA officials “pay lip service to those affected by having a handful of ‘listening tours’ after they’ve decided which predetermined policy course they should undertake,” said Michael Sandoval, energy policy analyst at the Independence Institute.

The two-day hearing at the EPA building in LoDo, which concludes Wednesday, is one of four taking place this week. The agency is also holding hearings in Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of people waited Tuesday to testify in five-minute increments on the proposal. A final rule is expected to be issued next year.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

One Response to Denver EPA Hearing Fuels Climate Change Debate

  1. Bob
    July 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    EPA needs to reined in. Where is Udall? Right out of sight and in Maggie Fox’s control. I’d like to know when they go after the Utilities, where are they getting their electricity? How are they going to charge their politically correct Prius’s and the other electric cars? Global warming is nothing but a hoax that a corrupt media buys into and spews the rhetoric. Bureaucrats are that, unelected and an off shoot of telling us how we will live. Most of these bureaus need to go away and the employees to the unemployment line.


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