Today there was an anti-fracking rally at the capitol in Denver. As mentioned in this post, rallies are being held around the country this week in honor of climate warrior Joye Braun. Our local rally had lots of good speakers, with an emphasis on fracking in the state of Colorado. I learned that Colorado is now in the “top” four states for fracking and that despite Governor Polis’s talk about climate action, he’s okayed over 5,600 well permits since he took office in 2019 and rejected just one well permit.
You can see his likeness in the upper center of the above image, smiling away while selling this state’s health and well-being to the oil and gas industry. (There’s talk of him running for president which some think is wonderful since he’s an openly gay Democrat with a husband and children. I’m here to disabuse you of that nonsense. Polis is bad news. He’s a Libertarian who threatens vetos on progressive legislation from the majority-held Colorado legislature. He’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars and paid nothing in federal income taxes from 2013 to 2015 and paid an effective rate of 8.2% from 2010 to 2018, substantially lower than the 19% paid by a taxpayer who made $45,000 in 2018. Trust me, we don’t need this rich guy playing with people’s lives on a national scale.)
But back to the rally. I also learned that despite the PR surrounding the oil and gas industry, it actually accounts for less than 1% of jobs in Colorado. This surprised me because I’d fallen for the fear-based propaganda about how oil and gas provides MANY jobs. The speaker mentioned there are ten Colorado counties in which the industry does account for many jobs and that there needs to be a concerted effort to provide a just transition to clean, renewable energy jobs.
Here I am clutching my signs with my no-grip mittens. I’m anti-incrementalism because we’re witnessing climate collapse and timid, half-measures aren’t going to cut it. Polis is very much into incremental steps which is really the same as being a climate denier.
One of the speakers led us in chants and it was fun imagining our voices disrupting Polis’s “State of the State” address inside the legislative chamber. At the end, Micah from 350 Colorado led us in song. “Rise Up” was a staple during my time with Sunrise Movement and it filled my heart to sing with other activists again.
People power for the win!