Colorado

The Green New Deal Threatens to Derail Colorado’s Economy

Oil and gas rigs have been popping up all across Colorado in recent years, as have jobs working the rigs. Colorado’s total oil production is valued at more than $9.9 billion for 2018—an estimated 62 percent higher than 2017, according to the University of Colorado Boulder’s most recent study of the state’s economy. The value of the state’s natural gas production in 2018 was estimated at $5.3 billion. Employment in the Colorado oil and gas industry has grown by more than 23 percent since 2016, now accounting for around 25,700 jobs. This year it is expected to grow another 4.8 percent. But now, the Green New Deal, proposed Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), is threatening the state’s energy boom. The plan calls for the U.S. to completely abandon the use of fossil fuels over the next ten years. That would not just derail Colorado’s natural resource and mining sector but also the many businesses and jobs that have grown up to serve the energy boom. “Unexpected economic and political factors can change the trajectory of Colorado’s NRM employment outlook abruptly,” the University of Colorado Boulder study warned. Across the United States, the Green New Deal could threaten such extreme economic disruption that it could put into play states once considered safe for Democrats. That is especially true of Colorado, which accounts for almost 5 percent of the total crude oil produced in the United States and has far more to lose from the Green New Deal than places like New York and Massachusetts. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won 48.1 percent of Colorado’s votes. Donald Trump won just 43.1 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson took 5.1 percent. A Democrat candidate who embraced a plan that would certainly eliminate 25,000 oil and gas extraction jobs and likely another untold number of jobs indirectly related to the sector could create a political, as well as an economic, earthquake. Of course, the Green New Deal would also create jobs, according to its proponents. But while Colorado’s oil and natural gas jobs cannot be located outside of the state, there is no guarantee the new green jobs would be created there. Making matters worse, wind and solar energy farms can be operated with a far thinner workforce, which means that even if the Green New Deal’s new energy were produced in Colorado, it would employ far fewer workers. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) is reportedly considering a presidential bid. This puts him in a political bind: support the Green New Deal program popular with the base of the national party or stand by his state’s economic interest. His office did not respond to a request for comment. Although natural resource drilling and mining employ just 1 percent of the Colorado workforce, the sector pulls above its weight calls in economic impact because the jobs generate some of the highest per worker income levels in the state. Average pay in the sector is 146 percent of the state average. The damage will go beyond just oil and natural gas. Coal jobs too would be killed off. According to a 2015 National Mining Association survey, the coal industry contributed $1.9 billion to Colorado’s economy and directly employed 3,723 workers, plus 12,977 indirect and induced jobs. In the United States, factories that produce equipment for mining and drilling have boomed in recent years on the backs of the technological innovations that have made the U.S. one of the world’s largest energy producers. These factories and the investments in them would go to waste in a Green New Deal that made fossil fuels obsolete or illegal. Investment in Colorado’s traditional energy sector would dry up. Whether investors burned by a government that turned against fossil fuels would willingly support investment in Green-New-Deal-favored energy projects is a risk—and certainly a risk for Colorado’s economy. Ocasio-Cortez portrays the Green New Deal as offering Americans a tremendous opportunity. And no doubt a new national program of green investment, subsidized by cheap government financing, would create many new wealthy entrepreneurs. But it also threatens jobs that Americans already have and depend upon for their livelihoods. Colorado, because it has such a high concentration of good jobs extracting fossil fuels, is one of the states that would be hit the hardest.

Agreed..  Thanks to John Carney for that sobering analysis.  All of us who are tax-paying voters here in the great state of Colorado need to keep this in mind in November of next year when we go to the polls..

Early snowfall stokes Colorado skiers, clouds climate debate

A heavy autumn snowfall has ski resorts across Colorado holding some of their earliest opening days in a decade or more, stoking skiers and fueling another snowball fight over climate change. Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek plan to open this week, shaving several days off their anticipated starts to the ski season and marking the first time that both resorts have launched ahead of time in 10 years, said Vail chief operating officer Doug Lovell. The resorts credited a “combination of some of the best early-November snowmaking conditions and more than four feet of natural snowfall last week.” Ski Cooper plans to open Nov. 23, 10 days earlier than scheduled, while Monarch Mountain in Salida announced Monday that it would invite skiers and snowboarders Friday, its earliest first-day-of-the-ski-season since 1996, after receiving a hefty 34 inches of powder. “We couldn’t be more thrilled for an early opening this year,” said Randy Stroud, general manager of Monarch Mountain, in a Monday press release. “We did our snow dances and Mother Nature delivered.” The state’s snowpack sat Thursday at 124 percent of average, according to the Colorado Snow Survey, after a Veteran’s Day weekend storm that dropped more than a foot of snow on areas of the Front Range. Some resorts have already opened after receiving double-digit snowfall. Eldora Mountain began operating a week ago, nine days earlier than scheduled, while Arapahoe Basin, Wolf Creek and Loveland celebrated their first days of the season last month. “The early season snowfall has created momentum and excitement for the opening of the ski season here in Colorado,” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA, in an Oct. 18 statement. “Winter has arrived in the Colorado mountains and it’s great to see winter sports enthusiasts out in force!” Klaus Wolter, climate scientist with the NOAA-ESRL Physical Science Division and University of Colorado Boulder, attributed the early snow to several factors, including the weak El Nino, which “tends to make it wetter in the fall over Colorado.” “Below-normal temperatures mean that (a) most of the precipitation fell as snow, even at lower elevations, and (b) snow-making conditions were in place for the last four weeks or so,” Mr. Wolter said in an email. The rush to the slopes comes as a welcome change from last year’s disappointing Colorado ski season. Last year, environmentalists cited the drier-than-average 2017 winter, the state’s 14th driest on record, as evidence of global warming’s threat to snow. “The whole state is having its worst opening in 20 years,” Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability for Aspen Snowmass, told the Coloradoan in December. “This is the weather and climate we fear. It’s already here.” Mr. Schendler serves on the board of Protect Our Winters, a Boulder-based climate advocacy group that has pushed to recruit skiers and snowboards by warning that “climate change is threatening winter as we know it.” “In the last decade, we have begun to see and feel climate change’s devastating impacts,” said Protect Our Winters. “Ski seasons are becoming shorter, more extreme, and less reliable.” Climate Depot’s Marc Morano compared such warnings to the infamous pronouncement of former University of East Anglia climate scientist David Viner, who warned that winter snowfall would soon become “a very rare and exciting event.” “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” Mr. Viner said in an article for the [U.K.] Independent headlined, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.” That was in 2000. “Climate activists and scientists claimed for years that snow was ‘a thing of the past’ due to ‘global warming,’ but snow has not cooperated,” said Mr. Morano, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.” “How do the activists explain away the record snows of recent years?” he asked. “Easy, by ignoring the current reality and predicting less snow in the future due to ‘climate change.’ Rest assured, snow is a thing of the present—just ask the autumn skiers enjoying the slopes.” Then again, climate change may actually be causing more snow. The EPA’s snowfall map showed that the white stuff decreased at 57 percent of its stations from 1930-2007, but not everywhere. Total snow increased during that period in some regions, including the Great Lakes and parts of Colorado. Snowfall in south-central Alaska has doubled in the last two years, while the East Coast has been socked with a series of snowstorms. Why? “Global warming means hotter air, and hotter air can hold more moisture,” said the Union of Concerned Scientists in a post. “This translates into heavier precipitation in the form of more intense rain or snow, simply because more moisture is available to storms.” Not surprisingly, Mr. Morano was skeptical. “So no matter what happens, the activists can claim with confidence the event was a predicted consequence of global warming,” he said. “There is now no way to ever falsify global warming claims.” For those trying to decide whether to buy a season ski pass, the best advice may be that there’s no predicting weather. “Just because it started snowing in November is no guarantee that it’s going to keep snowing,” said Jeffrey Deems, National Snow and Ice Data Center research scientist. “So get out there, get your days in, and take advantage of when the skiing’s good.”

Agreed…

Walker Stapleton: Why THIS governor’s race matters to all of us – It’s time to defeat socialism and radical extremism

Americans are a freedom-loving people who want the government out of their lives. More government regulation is never the answer to our country’s most challenging problems. And in Colorado, where I’m running for governor as a Republican, it’s no different. Colorado is a state with a deep libertarian streak. In past elections, Coloradans have overwhelmingly voted down single-payer health care, defeated a massive tax increase proposed by the teachers union, and legalized marijuana at the ballot box. Colorado is a state with a deep libertarian streak. In past elections, Coloradans have overwhelmingly voted down single-payer health care, defeated a massive tax increase proposed by the teachers union, and legalized marijuana at the ballot box. That is the independent Colorado I know and love – a fiscally responsible state that isn’t afraid to chart a path for the nation on contentious issues. But this year that all can change. Democratic candidates across the country are adopting far-left, radical policies that the majority of Americans do not support. The Democratic Party has moved to the far left to appease its extremist supporters. An avowed socialist, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is now the face of the Democratic Party. Whether it’s mandating government-run health care, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or banning fracking (a technology that has helped the United States become number one in the world in energy production), Democrats are now advocating policies that are far outside of the mainstream and endanger our economy and our jobs. In Colorado, the race for governor is a microcosm of what is happening on the national stage. In June, Democrats nominated Congressman Jared Polis, the most radical and extreme gubernatorial candidate in Colorado’s history. His record in Colorado over the past few years only underlines this fact. In 2014, Congressman Polis earned national recognition when he used his vast personal wealth to bankroll a ballot measure that would have banned fracking and driven 230,000 energy jobs out of Colorado. Congressman Polis is now running on a platform of single-payer, government-run health care; transitioning Colorado to 100 percent renewable energy; promising “free” pre-school; and promoting a carbon tax. This list of promises and other unfunded mandates adds up to at least $90 billion in spending and costs, and would triple the size of Colorado’s budget with no means to pay for it except through higher taxes – nearly triple what Coloradans presently pay. As we near the final days of this campaign, Congressman Polis is unapologetically doubling down on his radical persona. The face of American socialism, Bernie Sanders, is joining Congressman Polis on the campaign trail in Colorado. Recently, when asked to name a single policy difference he has with Sen. Sanders, Congressman Polis came up short, failing to name a single point of disagreement with America’s most famous socialist. This is a race for governor of Colorado, but the impacts will be felt all across our country. Make no mistake — a Polis victory in a swing state like Colorado will further normalize socialist policies. Will Congressman Polis and Bernie Sanders’ brand of extreme government regulation and intervention cement itself as the standard? Voters in Colorado and across the country are being presented with a new brand of unabashed extremism that risks economic catastrophe and flies in the face of our country’s founding principle of individual freedom. While we are working tirelessly to defeat socialism in Colorado, it ultimately will be up to voters. It is my hope and prayer that voters across the country choose to let freedom ring and that Coloradans’ voices are heard from coast to coast.

Walker Stapleton is an American politician who is serving his second term as Colorado’s state treasurer. He was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Stapleton is the Republican nominee for the 2018 Colorado gubernatorial election, and is a distant relative of former President George W. Bush.  We wish him success next week.  Jared Polis would be a disaster for Colorado.  He’s just a younger, and openly gay, version of Bernie.

French: Colorado Defies the Supreme Court, Renews Persecution of a Christian Baker

Even after a 7–2 Supreme Court decision protecting Colorado custom baker Jack Phillips from overt religious discrimination, the state is doubling down. It’s participating in and empowering a grotesque campaign of discrimination and harassment that should shock the conscience of sensible Americans. Phillips, you’ll recall, is the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the bakery at the epicenter of one of the most contentious cases of the Supreme Court’s last term. Phillips had refused to design a custom cake to celebrate a gay wedding, and a clear majority of SCOTUS ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated his right to free exercise of religion by demonstrating overt religious animus against him. Commissioners not only denigrated the sincerity of his religious-liberty argument, they applied overt double standards (by allowing bakers to refuse to create anti-gay messages) that were clearly discriminatory. So Jack won. Colorado lost. But Jack’s ordeal, it turns out, was far from over. By standing up for his First Amendment freedoms, Phillips put a target on his back, and bad-faith, malicious actors aimed and fired. Here’s what happened. According to a verified complaint filed today by my old colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom, on June 26, 2017 — the very day the Supreme Court granted Jack’s request to review his wedding-cake case — a lawyer named Autumn Scardina called Masterpiece Cakeshop and “asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to create a custom cake with ‘a blue exterior and a pink interior’ — a cake ‘design’ that, according to the lawyer,” reflected “the fact that [the lawyer] transitioned from male-to-female and that [the lawyer] had come out as transgender.” Lest anyone wonder whether this request was made in good faith, consider that this same person apparently made a number of requests to Masterpiece Cakeshop. In September 2017, a caller asked Phillips to design a birthday cake for Satan that would feature an image of Satan smoking marijuana. The name “Scardina” appeared on the caller identification. A few days earlier, a person had emailed Jack asking for a cake with a similar theme — except featuring “an upside-down cross, under the head of Lucifer.” This same emailer reminded Phillips that “religion is a protected class.” On the very day that Phillips won his case at the Supreme Court, a person emailed with yet another deliberately offensive design request.

To actually read this offensive request, and the rest of the article by attorney Army Reserve officer David French, click on the text above.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  Clearly the State of Colorado has it out for Mr. Phillips, and is brazenly assaulting his religious freedoms in defiance of the Supreme Court.  Unreal..

Illegal immigrant arrested for starting wildfire in Colorado, police say

An illegal immigrant has been arrested on arson charges in connection with the Spring Creek wildfire in southern Colorado that has destroyed homes and forced evacuations. “The initial cause of the fire was human caused,” the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday in announcing the arrest of Jesper Joergensen, 52. He was taken into custody without incident. Reuters reported that Joergensen is not a U.S. citizen and will be handed over to U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement once he has faced the charges against him. Deportation officers lodged an immigration detainer to hold Joergensen with the Costilla County Jail “following his arrest on criminal charges,” ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok told Fox News Sunday. Joergensen is a Danish national, he said. The Spring Creek fire has been burning east of Fort Garland in Costilla and Huerfano counties and has grown by more than 8,000 acres, reaching 41,292 acres as of Saturday evening, the Denver Post reported Saturday. The fire has led to mandatory evacuations. The wildfire started Wednesday afternoon and spread rapidly with the help of dry, hot, windy weather conditions, the paper reported. The fire has moved so fast firefighters have been unable to tally the destruction to homes and buildings. As of Saturday morning, the fire was zero percent contained, the paper reported. The Spring Creek fire was one of a dozen wildfires firefighters are battling across the state.

Awful..

Polis, Stapleton to face off for Colorado governor’s seat

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton won their respective party primaries Tuesday for the Colorado governor’s race, setting up a left-versus-Trump showdown as Republicans seek a seat they haven’t held in more than a decade. The liberal Polis, a five-term congressman, and Stapleton, who has closely aligned himself with President Donald Trump’s immigration and tax policies, easily defeated three challengers each in the top race of this purple state’s midterm primary. The two traded early barbs over taxes and health care in their respective victory speeches. “Make no mistake: As governor, Jared Polis will raise every tax and fee he can to take more money from hardworking Coloradans,” Stapleton said.

For those of us here in sunny Colorado, this will be a HUGE race.  And, either the voters will decide to complete that liberal path it’s been on the last decade and become another Cali or New York with the election of extreme liberal Jared Polis (D)…OR, the voters will decide to make a mild course correction and elect Stapleton Walker (R) a distant relative of former Pres. George W. Bush.

Supreme Court sides with Christian baker in same-sex wedding cake case

The Supreme Court granted a limited victory Monday to a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple, finding the state showed fierce hostility toward his Christian beliefs when it ruled he broke the law with his refusal. The 7-2 decision sends the case back to Colorado with firm instructions to give Jack Phillips, the Christian baker, a fair hearing. But the ruling does not establish a First Amendment right to refuse services to same-sex couples, as Mr. Phillips and his conservative backers had hoped. Instead it suggests a road map for states such as Colorado, which have public accommodation laws, to use in evaluating cases like this one that pit First Amendment religious rights against anti-discrimination protections. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing the lead opinion in the case, said states can require people to serve all customers equally regardless of sexual orientation, as long as they justify it through law and not through animus toward religion. “The delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be determined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the state itself would not be a factor in the balance the state sought to reach,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “That requirement, however, was not met here,” he continued. “When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires.” The ruling also seemed to set limits on how far states can go in forcing non-discrimination. Justice Kennedy said a priest or minister cannot be forced to perform a marriage or ceremony his faith would not sanction. “When it comes to weddings, it can be assumed that a member of the clergy who objects to gay marriage on moral and religious grounds could not be compelled to perform the ceremony without denial of his or her right to the free exercise of religion. This refusal would be well understood in our constitutional order as an exercise of religion, an exercise that gay persons could recognize and accept without serious diminishment to their own dignity and worth,” he said.

And that’s more than fair enough!  This is an EXCELLENT ruling; a ruling in favor of the freedom of religion which has been under attack by the secular left in our country for far too long.  For more on this story, click on the text above.     🙂