Working to keep the West special

RMCO Statements and News Releases

For statements and news releases on RMCO reports on climate change and national parks, see the section of our website beginning here, and for statements and news releases on other RMCO reports, see here. The following are some of RMCO's public statements and news releases on other matters.

RMCO Comments on Update of Colorado Climate Plan, November 2017

On November 3, 2017, the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization submitted comments on the state government's draft update on its Colorado Climate Plan. RMCO urged that the updated plan include new actions to improve local resilience to climate-change-related risks and address climate change impacts on water. RMCO also endorsed separate comments from Colorado Communities for Climate Action (which is administered by RMCO), which recommend more state government steps to reduce heat-trapping emissions.

RMCO Statement on Colorado Climate Plan and Water, February 2016

On February 5, 2016, Tom Easley, RMCO director of programs, submitted a statement to the Colorado Water Conservation Board on the implementation of the water section of the Colorado Climate Plan released in September 2015. The statement followed a January 27 stakeholder engagement session held by the CWCB.

RMCO Testimony on Colorado Climate Action Planning
February 2016

On February 4, 2016, Tom Easley, RMCO director of programs, testified before the Colorado General Assembly in support of legislation to strengthen the law governing state government planning efforts to address climate change.

Second and Third Sets of RMCO Comments on Colorado's Water Plan, September 2015

After the Colorado Water Conservation Board in July 2015 released its second draft of Colorado's Water Plan, RMCO on September 17, 2015, submitted its third set of comments on the draft state water plan, following up on our second set of comments, on the first draft of the plan, which we submitted in May 2015.

RMCO Comments on Colorado's Water Plan, October 2014

On October 16, RMCO submitted comments to the Colorado state government suggesting how the first draft of a first-ever state water plan can be revised to better identify and address projected impacts of climate change onthe state's water resources. A revised draft is due to be released in December, with the plan to be finalized a year later.

Climate Change Impacts on Colorado Water, September 2013

 

Stephen Saunders, RMCO's president, commented in a news release on a report released by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs, "Colorado Water Supply and Climate Change: A Business Perspective." RMCO provided the information for the report synthesizing climate change impacts on Colorado's water resources--both the impacts that are already occurring and the greater impacts projected as human emissions of heat-trapping pollution continue to change the climate.

 

“This report pulls together for the first time in one easily readable document all the ways in which climate change is already affecting Colorado’s water supplies and likely will disrupt them more in the future," Saunders said. It lays out the facts, from lower supplies of water to higher demands for water, and how that combination could trigger statewide water restrictions under interstate compacts,” said Stephen Saunders, the president of RMCO. “This is what every Coloradan should know about possible future water shortages from the combined effects of climate disruption and interstate compacts.”

 

State Government Climate Change Action, April, 2013

 

Tom Easley, RMCO's director of programs, testified before a committee of the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill creating a lead state government official on climate change and requring an update of the state's Climate Action Plan and annual reports to the legislature on climate protection and preparedness actions and on the state's vulnerabilities to climate change impacts.

Comments on Colorado River Basin Study, January 2012

RMCO submitted joint comments to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study that it is in the process of compiling, on behalf of RMCO and some of the participants in our Water Adaptation Steering Committee -- representatives of the National Wildlife Federation, the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Denver Water, and the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado.

Xcel Emissions of Heat-trapping Pollution, RMCO PUC testimony, September 2010

RMCO submitted testimony to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission asking it to work out with Xcel Energy and key stakeholders the details needed to achieve at least the reductions in heat-trapping gases identified in Xcel's proposed plan to comply with a new state law requiring the replacement with cleaner power of a certain amount of power now generated by older coal-fired powerplants.

Climate Change Impacts on Colorado River, RMCO letter, July 2010

RMCO submitted joint comments to the Colorado Water Conservation Board on its draft Colorado River Water Availability Study Phase I, on behalf of RMCO and some of the participants in our Water Adaptation Steering Committee -- representatives of Aurora Water, the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Denver Water, and the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado. RMCO also submitted our own separate comments.

Support for Funding Climate Change/Water Programs, RMCO and others' testimony, March 2010

On behalf of ourselves and others including the Colorado State Climatologist, officials of Colorado River Water Conservation District, Denver Water, Colorado Springs Utilities, and Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado, we submitted testimony to congressional appropriations committees in support of increased funding for key climate/water data collection systems. See the separate testimony to the House Apppropriations Committee's Interior and Agriculture subcommittees.

Strengthening of Colorado Clean Energy Law, March 2010

RMCO applauded the final passage by the Colorado General Assembly of a bill strenthening the state's requirement for how much clean energy investor-owned utilities must use to generate the electricity they sell -- carrying out a portion of a key recommendation of the Climate Action Panel RMCO convened. The RMCO news release.

Strengthening of Colorado Clean Energy Law, February 2010

RMCO director of programs Tom Easley testified in the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill to strengthen by 50% the state's requirement for how much clean energy investor-owned utilities must use to generate the electricity they sell. The RMCO testimony.

Testimony: Climate Change and National Parks, August 2009

RMCO president Stephen Saunders testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Parks about climate disruption in national parks and management options. The RMCO testimony.

Climate Change/Water Programs, February 2009

RMCO director of programs Tom Easley testified in the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill to fund Colorado Water Conservation Board water adaptation programs, many of which were included in Governor Ritter's Colorado Climate Action Agenda and also in RMCO's Climate Action Panel recommendations. The RMCO testimony.

Energy Efficiency, January 2009

RMCO director of programs Tom Easley testified in the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill to clarify that rural electric cooperatives can set graduated rates based on a consumer's level of electricity consumption, as recommended by RMCO's Climate Action Panel. The RMCO testimony.

Climate Change/Water Programs, June 2008

RMCO recommended that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency strengthen its draft strategy for dealing with the water quality effects of climate change by focusing more on the impacts likely to occur in the West. The RMCO letter to EPA.

RMCO Fact Sheet: Colorado River Water and Western Cities, April 2008

RMCO released a fact sheet showing that water from the Colorado River is used to suppy the needs of he largest city in each of the Colorado River basin states, and in two-thirds of the largest cities in all 11 western states -- regardless of the size threshold used to define which cities are the largest ones. Colorado River water is used by 6 of the 10 largest western cities, 8 of the 12 largest, 16 of the 25 largest, and 19 of the 30 largest.

RMCO Statement: Reduce Xcel Energy's Emissions, April 2008

RMCO recommended that the Colorado Public Utilities Commission require Xcel Energy, Colorado's largest electric utility, to reduce its emissions of heat-trapping gases by 20% by 2020. This would be the the first major action of the administration of Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., to achieve the kind of reductions in heat-trapping gases that will be needed to meet the state climate-protection goals the governor established (when he adopted the goals recommended by RMCO's Climate Action Panel). The RMCO comments to the PUC.

Climate Change and Forests, January 2008

RMCO issued a news release on the prediction by the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado State Forester that, because of warmer temperatures and drought, mountain pine beetles have spread so much that all of Colorado's mature lodgepole pine forests would be "killed" within three to five years. "Without global warming, we would not be losing our lodgepole forests," said RMCO president Stephen Saunders. The RMCO news release.

Reducing Emissions from Vehicles, December 2007

The Rocky Mountain News published an opinion-editorial column by RMCO president Stephen Saunders supporting the decision by Governor Bill Ritter Jr. to have Colorado consider adopting California's standards require new cars and trucks to emit fewer heat-trapping gases. The RMCO op-ed column.

RMCO's Climate Action Panel Recommendations, October 2007

Mayors John Hickenlooper of Denver, Doug Hutchinson of Fort Collins, and Steve Burkholder of Lakewood announce that the Project Directors of the Colorado Climate Project have approved the recommenations of the Climate Action Panel which they appointed. The RMCO news release.

RMCO's Climate Action Panel Recommendations, September 2007

RMCO's Climate Action Panel approves its recommendations for actions to reduce Colorado's contribution and vulnerability to climate change. The RMCO news release.