As one of the sunniest states in the country, Colorado has great potential for solar energy. By 2030, Colorado could install solar energy capacity equivalent to that of a million solar rooftops—reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, addressing global warming and boosting our economy.
America has more than doubled its use of wind power since the beginning of 2008 and we are starting to reap the environmental rewards. Wind energy now displaces about 68 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year—as much as is produced by 13 million cars. And wind energy now saves more than enough water nationwide to meet the needs of a city the size of Boston.
Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—to unlock new supplies of fossil fuels in underground rock formations across the United States. “Fracking” has spread rapidly, leaving a trail of contaminated water, polluted air, and marred landscapes in its wake. In fact, a growing body of data indicates that fracking is an environmental and public health disaster in the making.
National parks, forests and public lands are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems, safeguarding our waterways, cleaning up the air we breathe, protecting wildlife habitat, and providing opportunities to connect with the outdoors. Recreation and tourism on public lands drives a 10$ billion outdoor industry in Colorado that supports over 100,000 local jobs. This report showcases treasured places across the country at risk of resource exploitation and development if attacks on our public lands are signed into law. Many of the places profiled in this report are ecologically sensitive, pristine areas; all are beloved state treasures that provide extensive recreational opportunities.
Nevertheless, Representatives Tipton, Coffman and Lamborn and support bills that put our wilderness at risk.
Global warming is happening now and its effects are being felt in the United States and around the world. Among the expected consequences of global warming is an increase in the heaviest rain and snow storms, fueled by increased evaporation and the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture.
Extreme downpours are now happening 25 percent more often in Colorado and 30 percent more often nationwide than in 1948. In other words, large rain or snowstorms that happened once every 12 months, on average, in the middle of the 20th century now happen every nine to ten months in Colorado and across the country.
Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.