Hickenlooper declares Trump’s climate change executive order ‘will not deter Colorado’s efforts’

Author: Ernest Luning - March 28, 2017 - Updated: March 29, 2017

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper addresses the state Democratic Party's 84th Annual Dinner on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the Marriott Denver City Center. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper addresses the state Democratic Party’s 84th Annual Dinner on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the Marriott Denver City Center. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

Gov. John Hickenlooper declared Tuesday that Colorado will continue to pursue “a clean energy future” despite an executive order signed by President Donald Trump ending the federal government’s efforts to combat climate change.

“We will keep building a clean energy future that creates Colorado jobs, improves our health and addresses the harmful consequences of a changing climate,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. The Democrat said Trump’s directive, signed Tuesday, “will not deter Colorado’s efforts,” arguing that natural gas is more economical than coal and that the state’s leadership in the wind and solar energy fields is a “boon to our economy, jobs and the environment.”

Trump’s order, signed Tuesday, directs the Environmental Protection Agency to reverse gears on its 2015 Clean Power Plan, which set strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions by power plants. The order also lifts a moratorium on coal leases on federal lands and does away with federal regulations restricting methane emissions.

“Our efforts to clean our air and protect the natural environment are part of what draws young people, families, and businesses to Colorado,” Hickenlooper said. “Our outdoor recreation industry, which helps create jobs all across the state, is dependent upon cleaner air and water. We have a history of solving complex problems and taking action to move the state closer to meeting its clean air goals, and we have shown that we can have cleaner air and reduce harmful carbon emissions at essentially no additional cost — potentially even saving money for Colorado families.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet called the executive order “a direct assault on the health of our children and clean energy economy” and warned that rescinding the Clean Power Plan will jeopardize thousands of jobs and cost the economy billions of dollars. “It also could prevent the EPA from regulating clean air and water, sacrificing a rigorous scientific process in the name of ideology. Instead of leading the fight against climate change and transition to clean energy, this Administration has abandoned it,” Bennet said in a statement.

Echoing Hickenlooper, Bennet said Colorado’s clean energy economy will continue to grow and the state intends to meet targets under the EPA rule. “I’ll continue to work across the aisle to combat climate change for our businesses, our children’s health, and the future of our planet,” he said.


Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.


  • Bonnie spitze

    March 28, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you for standing with the health of our environment for all Coloradans, so proud you are our Govenot and care about healthy air and water bless you

  • Bonnie spitze

    March 28, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    So glad Colorado is honoring the truth about climate change and want to ensure that we continue to follow EPA common sense for our environment thank you

  • Russell

    March 29, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Hick is a liberal through and through. Thanks to conservative counties like Weld County that produce energy and bring wealth to our state, Hick enjoys the fruits of their labor. A monkey could run Colorado better than Hick.

    • Kerry

      March 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      You’re an idiot.

  • Daryl

    March 29, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Oh, so now Hick is an environmentalist, after threatening to sue municipalities for banning fracking within their own boundaries, *now* he’s concerned about clean air and water. Did you know not a single Colorado city makes the top 10 list for clean air?

    I would cheer on the Gov’s fight for clean air and water if I thought he actually meant it. Unfortunately, it’s just more politics. We see you.

  • Fantechi Roberto

    March 29, 2017 at 8:31 am

    As a former foreign resident of Colorado in Boulder, I am so glad you are putting a stop to all that future dirt. Hopefully other states will follow suit at least to preserve lage swaths of you country.
    Keep it up!

  • Glenn

    March 30, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Please be ever so careful. While clean is great I just see this as another effort to raise taxes as well as higher energy bills. If renewable energy is free why do our cost keep rising?

  • sandy sekeres

    April 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    thank you!

Comments are closed.