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Activists call for more climate action during rally at state capitol

Local environmental organizations held a climate action accountability rally Friday morning demanding more climate change action from Governor Jared Polis.

COLORADO, USA — A group of environmental activists gather at the state capitol Friday to call for more climate change action from Governor Jared Polis (D-Colorado). 

They specifically asked for more regulation of oil and gas development in the state. 

Organizers said previous laws Polis passed to limit that industry's development are not doing enough to protect people and the environment.

"We would love to see Polis answer us, respond to his constituents. It’s his responsibility to," said Caitlin Brown, the outreach coordinator for Colorado Rising. "We want to see him start acting on all those promises that he promised us during his campaign."

RELATED: 'Trouble in the Air' report highlights air quality and pollution across Colorado in 2020

Brown and other environmental activists described their concerns in a letter. 

It read, in part, "We, the undersigned organizations and state leaders, are writing to call for action to address widespread public concern that in the two years since you signed SB 19-181 and HB 19-1261 into law, the situation with regards to oil and gas pollution and the impacts on Colorado communities and the climate crisis has failed to improve as needed." 

Senate Bill 19-181 refocused Colorado oil and gas regulations on health and safety. Under previous law, city and county governments in Colorado only had authority over oil and gas sites if the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission allows it. Sections 1 and 2 of the new law repealed that limitation. 

RELATED: Senate passes oil and gas overhaul bill

House Bill 19-1261 established statewide greenhouse gas pollution reduction goals and appropriated money to the department of public health and environment to implement policies to reach those goals.

"I came to Colorado because I love the outdoors and it hurts me to see what's happening, Brown said. The droughts, the low snowpack, the wildfires, and humans are connected to that and to be ignoring all of these signs is hurtful and inspires me to get out here and connect with all of these people."

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