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Colorado Latinos Welcome Biden’s Climate Orders

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Thursday, January 28, 2021   

DENVER -- The Colorado chapter of Green Latinos welcomes the trove of executive orders signed by President Joe Biden this week meant to tackle climate change, conserve public lands and waters, and invest in clean-energy production.

Ean Tafoya, Colorado field advocate for the group, said Coloradans in rural areas, small towns and cities understand something more needs to be done to address more powerful and frequent wildfires, prolonged drought and other impacts of a warming planet.

"And they're concerned about the climate crisis," Tafoya observed. "I hear lots from them about wanting to be part of this coming green revolution. And I think there is a huge opportunity here laid out for all of us in Colorado, urban and rural, to benefit."

Biden's sweeping orders include investments in communities affected by pollution and other measures aimed at building a net-zero-emission economy by 2050.

Oil-industry groups see the moratorium on new oil-and-gas leases on public lands as an attempt to delay drilling until it's no longer viable, which they claim will cost jobs.

Others say even more needs to be done, and faster, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and seize on economic opportunities of a clean-energy transition.

Biden is also installing environmental-justice officers at all federal agencies to protect the health and environment of the nation's most vulnerable communities.

Tafoya hopes the decision will ensure people of color, disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and climate change, have a say in how the transition unfolds.

"Biden is laying out a plan and a vision to correct the inequities that were clear to pretty much everybody during COVID, with the disparities that are directly tied to pollution," Tafoya stated.

Biden's actions reversed many Trump administration policies enacted by executive order.

Tafoya added the next move is on Congress, to create and pass energy legislation that can't be undone by the next administration.


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