Earth Day Advocacy Update

For this advocacy update, we wanted to focus specifically on bills that relate to the environment in light of Earth Day, April 22, 2023. For this reason, Mark Meeks and Daniel Wright, two of our Voices for Justice contributors, have provided some updates on bills that they have been tracking.  We’re highlighting their expertise , and we thank them for their contribution below.

One bill of great interest for this year’s Colorado legislature has been improving air quality in Colorado. On April 13, HB23-1294 (Pollution Protection Measures) was introduced to provide measures to further protect our various communities from air pollution. While all of Colorado is impacted with serious concerns for air quality, some of our neighbors are even more exposed to the harms of ozone pollution. This bill takes such vulnerabilities into account and creates means in order for the pollution in air to be measured, find the source, and seek to improve it. Keeping our air clean is essential for good health for all. To align our capacities, actions and continued concern for good air is necessary for the wellbeing of all Coloradans. Such is the intent of this legislation, and in light of Earth Day, it is worth celebrating and joining our hopes in support of working together for the air quality of our beautiful “blue sky state”.

Another bill moving through the legislature is SB23-016 (Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measure), which passed through to the senate, where it likewise passed following its third reading. Presently it sits in the House awaiting action under the care of sponsors Karen McCormick and Emily Sirota. Though one of the amendments reduced the minimum target of statewide reductions by 2040 from 80% to 75%, the goals of 90% by 2045 and 100% by 2050 remain intact. A date for the house has not yet been set. As Chief Seattle has been quoted saying “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together… all things connect.” It has also been observed by Audubon that a true conservationist is one who knows that the world is not given by parents, but borrowed from our children. As Earth Day approaches, may we embody these beautiful sentiments and honor God’s creation for our children and their children after them.

Wesley Moncrief

CCC Social Justice Fellow