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Make 2019 the year for climate action

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Dear Editor:

It's time to stop buying the nonsense that the next fossil fuel boom will save our economy. Tar sands in Utah and fracking more of our public lands so private companies can ship our energy overseas, are not viable ways forward nor are they sound strategies for our future.

The earth is at the end of its carbon budget. The world's top scientists say we need to move in a singular fashion at an unprecedented scale to get off dirty fossil fuels. And Colorado's voters just sent a strong message and overwhelmingly voted in candidates who support renewable energy over fossil fuels, and who have pledged to act on climate change.

More local power production also means more money in our communities and true energy independence. Subjugating ourselves to foreign markets is the exact opposite -- sending our wealth away and binding our fates to volatile commodities, their fluctuations beyond our control.

Now, with a new legislative session pending under a new governor, our state is positioned to be an energy leader and innovator. The Western Slope can be a major force in this transition. Our rural electric cooperatives are already leading the way to generating more power locally. We have leading think tanks, teaching and research facilities, and training institutions, along with ample sunshine for solar, and hundreds of canals and ditches, that can provide energy to power our farms, industry, businesses, and communities.

This coming year Colorado is being presented with a new legislature and governor that should make climate change a top priority. Our federal congressional delegation, new members and old hands, and our U.S. senators must also lead on this issue. Together we can work to move Colorado and the nation toward 100 percent clean energy, and create more local power opportunities. Let's make 2019 a year of action.

Elena Goldstein

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