Opinion | Susan Knopf: Vote green | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: Vote green

President Biden drove through Minturn on Wednesday. He was here to sign an executive order creating the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument.

Creation of the 53,000-acre national monument has been the 15 year project of Sen. Michael Bennet. It’s part of his work to pass the CORE Act — the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy Act.

“I can’t thank Senator Bennet enough. He found a path to tell our story,” said Nancy Kramer, president of the 10th Mountain Division Foundation.

Rep. Joe Neguse said, “Three cheers to the people of Colorado who worked so hard to make this happen.”

Gov. Jared Polis, Sen. John Hickenlooper, Neguse, our county commissioners and state Reps. Julie McCluskie and Dylan Roberts have all worked to protect this area. Neguse worked hard to pass the CORE Act in the House three times.

Camp Hale was the training home to the important 10th Mountain Division in World War II. It was the sacred home to the Ute tribe before that. The area is environmentally important and economically important to our recreation industry. This designation will not affect recreation access for the ski industry, hikers or snowmobilers, according to the White House.

Some Colorado Republicans are against protecting Colorado’s natural beauty. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea says he opposes the presidential executive order to designate national monuments. Biden is the 18th president to use the Antiquities Act to protect a national heritage area — eight were Republicans. The gun-toting congresswoman in neighboring Congressional District 3 opposes the national monument and the CORE Act.

If you care about our beautiful environment here in Summit County, you know you need to vote Democrat. We vote our devotion and support of our fragile natural world. We support business leaders and politicians who understand our need to balance the environment we love, with the business concerns that pay our bills.

Polis has put us solidly on the path of renewable energy and has worked across the aisle and across issues to strengthen Colorado’s climate resilience.

Two candidates running for office have missed the memo. Heidi Ganahl is running against Polis. O’Dea is running against Bennet for Senate.

For the record, Ganahl told the Colorado Water Congress Conference that she thinks the best way to fight climate change is crank up fossil fuel production in Colorado.

“One of my goals is to get our oil and gas workers back to work, because we produce the cleanest energy on the planet right here in Colorado,” said Ganahl. “There is absolutely no reason for us not to produce the energy and instead go to Russia, Venezuela, Iran.”

A 9News viewer, hearing Ganahl’s plan, wrote that it sounds like his plan to lose weight is to eat more ice cream. Sounds about right.

According to Forbes, clean energy sector jobs are growing faster than fossil fuel energy jobs, and creating lower-cost energy. It’s clear to me Ganahl is missing the mark and would take us backwards, both in jobs and environmental quality.

O’Dea has been a climate change denier, he told the Colorado Water Congress Conference, “There is no doubt that the climate is getting warmer and drier. Layer onto that rapidly growing populations in Colorado. And what you get is one hell of a public policy dilemma.”

In a 9News Next broadcast, he told Kyle Clark there is some debate as to the contribution of human activity. Clark called him out twice and O’Dea insisted the human contribution to climate change is in debate. We need politicians who can lead, not wring their hands over public policy dilemmas.

O’Dea also said he’s not too sure what’s in the CORE Act, but the most important consideration would be how it might affect more development. Do we need more development? Or do we need to balance development with our ability to support growth?

Don’t worry Mr. O’Dea. I’m counting on Colorado voters to figure out you aren’t really up to the job. You might consider a Colorado Sun article that says green energy is cheaper and provides good jobs. We just need the political will to progress.

Heidi, my bet is every able-bodied fossil fuel worker who hasn’t yet found a better job in the green energy sector is probably working with gas prices this high. Don’t worry, your plan isn’t really a winner for Colorado. We’re all winners when our elected officials lead and protect our communities. Protecting our environment protects our economy.

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