Welcome to 350 Roaring Fork!

A Victory!

As a result of our comments and petition, the Aspen City Council agreed to divest from Berkshire Hathaway, a big owner and investor in coal and gas interests. The council also intends to find out how their investment advisor rates their holdings according to environmental, social and governance criteria.

Upcoming event!
Join us for our Zoom Workshop: How to Lobby City Hall, with training in giving effective public comments and writing persuasive letters and petitions.
We intend to be regular fixtures at city council, town trustee and county commissioner meetings throughout the valley, extricating municipal funds from fossil fuels and thus accelerating the transition to a carbon free future!
Tomorrow (Wednesday), 2/3, 5:00-6:30pm on Zoom. Register here.

Take Action!

Sign our petition urging Aspen to divest from fossil fuel production and finance.

“But”, you say, “we still use coal, oil and gas!” First, we have the technology to produce clean power. What is lacking is the investment to scale it up. While it is an enormous task to transition the world to carbon neutrality, the question is how fast it will take. The science indicates we have less than 10 years to be well on the way. The fossil fuel and financial industries have other plans. They talk the talk but they would really like to extend their run as long as possible. As taxpayers, investors and customers, we can send a market signal to this business model that the game is up!
Secondly, our municipalities should not invest our money in the kind of energy jeopardizing the climate and our children’s future. If there was any justice, our towns and cities would be suing the companies causing the climate crisis! (As indeed some are.)
Aspen is already doing a great deal. They don’t buy Exxon and Chevron bonds. Just yesterday, they agreed to roll off their Berkshire Hathaway bonds, due to Berkshire’s large holdings in coal plants and gas pipelines.
Yet, Aspen holds bonds in Wells Fargo, the second leading financier of fossil fuels. It lent coal, oil and gas companies $198 billion since 2016! (Chase lent $269 billion). Just four American banks account for the lion’s share of all fossil fuel financing, worldwide! When it comes to ending fossil fuels and investing in the zero carbon future, these giants could move mountains. And so 350 and dozens of other organizations are focusing on the financial sector.

Join the Movement!

To volunteer or learn how to get involved in 350 Roaring Fork, email Will Hodges, Team Coordinator at: will@350colorado.org.

Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on events! 


Background:

A few core volunteers have kept 350 Roaring Fork alive since 2017, culminating last year in our climate strike in Carbondale’s Sopris Park. We brought together 13 speakers, including high school students and the mayor, and a crowd of nearly 200, to heed the call of Sweden’s Greta Thunberg and the urgent task of saving civilization from climate disaster.

This summer, we hired a new coordinator to rally and organize a team of people to work towards climate justice, to foster an effort of advocacy that matches the spirit we share for our Rocky Mountains!

We are working to build a grassroots movement to end fossil fuels and to speed the transition to a just and sustainable future. For our children.

We need social media influencers. We need petition circulators. We need researchers. We need creative event planners. We need advocates. If you don’t have time, you can donate!

Our Current Campaigns:

  1. Municipal Divestment
  2. Reducing Greenhouse Gases and Other Air Pollution
  3. Local Solutions

Municipal Divestment

The global divestment movement has succeeded in withdrawing $14 trillion on the part of 1200 institutions from fossil fuel destruction. Colleges and universities, foundations and faith groups, public pensions and cities are voting with their dollars and have divested or are in the process of divesting. Last year, our 350 Denver team got the City of Denver to divest $180 million in corporate oil and gas bonds! Denver follows 46 other cities, including New York and London.

We now intend to add our local municipalities to this chorus choosing not to prop up this antiquated, self-destructive model. We aim to pass local ordinances and resolutions barring our towns, cities and counties from owning stakes in coal, oil and gas interests as well as the banks and insurance companies which underwrite them.

We are slowly drying up the pool of money available to finance dirty energy. Shell Oil announced in 2018 the movement represented a “material adverse effect” on its ability to raise capital. In July, Deutsche Bank bowed to activists and agreed to end its financing of arctic drilling projects, joining five of the largest U.S. banks. (The Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet).

We are also targeting our municipality’s banking and insurance contracts. These are valuable contracts to a bank or insurer. For a city to change banks or insurance carrier is a powerful signal. For the duration of a campaign, it is also very unwanted publicity.

Reducing Greenhouse Gases and Other Air Pollution – SB 181 and HB 1261

In 2019, 350 Colorado helped win passage of two laws making Colorado a leader in protecting the climate. SB-181 “prioritizes the protection of public safety, health, welfare, and the environment in the regulation of the oil and gas industry”. And HB-1261 set goals for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by AT LEAST 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 (as 2005 levels as a baseline). Never before has Colorado undertaken to reign in the industry in quite this way.

We are joining with our other nine teams around the state lobbying the two regulatory bodies responsible for enforcing SB-181 and HB-1261. Through testifying at hearings, submitting statements and comments, spreading petitions and educating the public, we are calling for the following:

At the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission:

  • A halt to all new leases, especially during a respiratory pandemic
  • Accurate aerial and ground monitoring and repair of leaking methane, which is grossly underestimated
  • A minimum, uniform, statewide setback of 2500 feet from homes and schools for fracking operations
  • With fracking’s significant contribution of greenhouse gases, a meaningful plan for its phase-out within a timeline that the science demands

At the Air Quality Control Commission:

  • Stronger rules for curbing toxic pollution from fracking, including VOCs, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, which exacerbate asthma and lung and heart disease and make up 40% of the pollutants causing Colorado to “seriously” exceed federal air quality standards
  • Accurate and reliable accounting for methane leakage from fracking operations, without which the state can’t realistically meet its greenhouse gas reduction requirements
  • The detailed “roadmap,” including specific policies and regulations by which the state will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by the targets set in House Bill 1261

Local Solutions

There is no shortage of things we can be doing to reduce our fossil fuel dependence right here in our own backyards. And we have considerably more leverage with our own boards of trustees, city councils, and boards of county commissioners. From land use planning and building codes to incentives for solar and wind capacity and mass transit, to promoting local, regenerative agriculture, 350 teams are devising innovative, meaningful solutions that can provide inspiring models to other communities.

DONATE

Carbondale Climate Strike, September 2019

 


A few of the major accomplishments of the 350 Roaring Fork Team include: 

  • Hosting the Carbondale Youth Climate Strike in September of 2019 which brought hundreds of community members together for climate action. 
  • Organizing testimony and travel to hearings at the Garfield County Commissioners, COGCC, AQCC, CDPHE, and legislative hearings in Glenwood Springs, Denver, Rifle, and Grand Junction. 
  • Educating hundreds of community members through documentary screenings, workshops, and tabling at local events, and farmers markets. 
  • Standing up against fossil fuel projects by gathering thousands of signatures for state ballot initiatives and rallying support to stand with impacted communities in Battlement Mesa & Paonia.
  • Publishing dozens of LTE’s/OP-Eds on climate issues in local and state news outlets 
  • We supported fellow organizations working to protect the Roaring Fork Valley
  • We marched, demonstrated, attended meetings, wrote letters and postcards, called our representatives and defended Mother Earth in every way we could think of!

<< Back to groups list

FacebookTwitter