EDITORIAL: AG Coffman’s EPA suit is purely partisan and Gov. Hick’s response purely perplexing

It was far from surprising that Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman made good last week on old threats to join 23 other states in suing the EPA to try and stop the government’s push against coal-fired power plants and their clear contribution to global climate change.

It was far from surprising that Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman made good last week on old threats to join 23 other states in suing the EPA to try and stop the government’s push against coal-fired power plants and their clear contribution to global climate change.

Coffman’s move to join other Republican governors and attorneys general was expected as the polarized battle over climate change heats up.

What’s surprising was Gov. John Hickenlooper’s move this week to ask the Colorado Supreme Court whether Coffman, a Republican, had the legal authority to join the partisan lawsuit. That’s because Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is backing the Obama administration’s EPA creation of the Clean Power Plan, a centerpiece in Obama’s push to address global climate change.

Of course Coffman can file the lawsuit as the state’s independent attorney general. Colorado has a long history of attorneys general filing, joining and opposing lawsuits often at odds with state administration, voters, sentiment and in this case, good sense.

Coffman paints herself as a partisan drone here for two reasons: The Clean Power Plan is critical to addressing a global climate change problem that could economically decimate this state, while at the same time claiming that she joined the lawsuit out of concern for jobs and the Colorado economy.

Drought, heat and other weather patterns could end the billions of dollars Colorado depends on from the ski and river tourism industry, as well as the billions of dollars the state creates through agriculture. Global climate change isn’t about being uncomfortably hot in the summer and distantly fretting over the future of seaside vacation homes. And dismissing it has become the fashion only for the equivalent of modern flat-earthers.

Second and more to the point, Colorado is in a unique position among states because we’ve already pushed the power industry to clean up its act and convert to natural gas, solar and wind power. Residents, even at the ballot box, have consistently backed programs like the Clean Power Plan.

Coffman’s jumping on the GOP bandwagon here represents her political interests and opinions, not the interest nor the will of state residents and voters.

But she most certainly has the legal authority to undermine Colorado’s clean air attitudes, progress and her own credibility. Just as Hickenlooper has the authority to also posture politically with his appeal to the Supreme Court.

The bottom line is, however, Hickenlooper can and should ignore Coffman’s ill-conceived ploy and move right ahead with implementing the Clean Power Plan — just like other states politically polarized states are doing.

  • Frank2525

    Aurora Sentinel needs some common sense people working there. Not the liberals-progressives, that defy common sense. 52% of Xcel energy is from coal even now, and it burns cleaner than ever being anthracite coal. Much harder, less oil than bituminous coal, which I worked in 1947-48, which was shallow depth, with only 44 inches of coal seam. Pa. coal and deep shaft mines had coal a lot deeper under the surface, and had 10, 12 ft. seams or more of coal.
    China and Russia are burning more coal than ever before, with emissions much more deadly than we ever experienced in USA. If we shut down our energy production completely, and quit using energy today, there would be no change in global warming detected in next 100 years. And that has been reported, but we have these “the skies are falling” every time we elect a Democrat President, starting with Jimmy Carter. Did not take long for him to create rationing, and we lined up at gas pumps to buy 10 gal. of gas on given day with even number license plates, and next day was cars with odd numbers for 10 gallons. Constant driving and sitting in lines, to buy during a week, and we had to buy locking caps for cars, to keep thieves from stealing gas. And we were told to turn the thermostats down, and wear sweaters.
    Gasoline went up and never came down again after that, with companies buying oil in tanker ships with escalating crude oil prices increasing. Then we had Clinton with the glass windows on south side of homes, and new construction to capture solar heat. Have not heard any of that after he left office.
    Here we go with Al Gore, during Obama Administration, and wind farms were built, which then required long transmission lines, to connect to power grid. The propellers on those kill birds, so where are the PETA, and Humane Society yelling about that? And they turn at different ratios, with wind strength, so are hard to regulate power grid. Scotland gave subsidy to build those, then paid company not to operate them, because they shorted out the power grid.
    Solar panels in desert areas kill vegetation under them, and cook birds flying over them. Even when built by needed design, and sun light received as planned for, could not develop energy needed, and company asked for more money from Federals to help pay the payments of loans.
    Yet Sentinel thinks Governor is right to ask that coal not be used in Colorado. Are you kidding me? Check your electric bill now, and see how much energy is produced by which means, by Xcel which covers several states in West. If any of those were cheaper than coal, oil, or gas, don’t you think they would go there on their own? Business is in business to make money, and pay their investors. Not KOW TOWE to EPA, or dreamers.

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  • davebarnes

    The constitutional issue is the really important issue here. A ruling that will have effects for 50-100 years.

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  • Aaron D