DEAR EDITOR:

Here in San Miguel County, we are witnessing how climate change is impacting our economy and our quality of life. Our seasons are becoming warmer, and the weather is becoming more erratic with extreme weather events becoming more common and severe. In fact, last month was the hottest July ever recorded on our planet. Reducing carbon pollution and making our communities more resilient are important goals.

During this most recent legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly and Governor Polis prioritized climate policy. With support from San Miguel County, the legislature adopted bills that will make rooftop solar more accessible, reduce air pollution from vehicles and power plants, better protect residents and businesses from steep electricity rate hikes, and mandate that the state significantly reduce carbon pollution in the coming years.

San Miguel County also supports statewide legislation to expand access to electric vehicles, improve the availability of energy efficiency options, and reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling. Colorado is establishing a new office, the first in the country, to provide transition assistance to communities grappling with coal plant and coalmine retirements. This will help residents of the west end of San Miguel and Montrose counties when the Nucla power plant is decommissioned in 2020.

Our effectiveness in shaping state policy is amplified through our participation in a high-profile coalition of local governments called Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA), which is heavily engaged with the legislature and state agencies. I’m honored to serve as San Miguel County’s representative at CC4CA.

 Here at the San Miguel County offices, we’re focused on reducing the entire organization’s carbon footprint while saving money through energy efficiency. We’re also investigating solar and other options to achieve our goal of relying on 100 percent renewable energy. Also, in 2020, we plan to update county building codes to encourage energy efficiency.

I’m proud to be involved in San Miguel County’s efforts to reduce our energy consumption and to help shape Colorado’s climate policy. I look forward to continuing working with citizens and fellow elected officials across the state to protect our economy, environment and quality of life.

Lance Waring

San Miguel County Commissioner