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Longs Peak overlooking Bear Lake. (coloradoswildareas.com)
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Conservation Colorado issues legislative playbook for the environment

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When Conservation Colorado talks, Democrats, and a few Republicans, listen.

The 22,000 members whose issue is the environment have a lot of clout in the statehouse, helping elect 54 of the 60 statehouse candidates it endorsed last year.

Conservation Colorado spent $1.3 million on digital ads, mailers, paid canvasses and ads for TV and radio. Get the picture?

So the importance of the message from executive director Pete Maysmith Wednesday rose above the din of most political chatter on the first day of the legislative session. And Conservation Colorado’s priorities on the environment, you can bet, will be heard.

“We’re feeling positive and optimistic about this year’s session, and look forward to making progress with supporters on both sides of the aisle to protect what we love about Colorado: our way of life,” Maysmith said of the environment. “The election hasn’t changed what we plan to do here, and no matter who’s in charge in Washington, D.C., we must clean up our air, conserve our water, protect our lands, and ensure that every person in Colorado lives in a healthy environment.”

Maysmith cited four legislative priorities. Write this down:

Clean energy jobs

  • Ensure the cleanest air in the nation and a thriving clean-tech sector
  • Help rural Colorado become economically diversified, away from drilling and mining.
  • Defend against such steps as last year’s bills to “gut the budget” for the state health department and measures to hand public lands over to private interests.

Transportation and growth

  • Fund public transit, walking and biking options.
  • Continue legislative work to advance electric cars

Clean air and children’s health

  • Keep oil and gas operations away from communities
  • Make progress on clean-air efforts and renewable energy.

Sustainability and waste

  • Implement policies that conserve water
  • Promote energy savings

 There’s your environmental legislative playbook for 2017, folks.

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