History & Accomplishments
Over the last 10 years, 350 Colorado has grown to become the largest Colorado-based grassroots organization focused on solving the climate crisis. Check out this timeline to help us celebrate some of our many accomplishments and honor the hard work of our staff, board, and volunteers!
Visit our About Us page to learn about our mission, staff, and campaigns.
350 Colorado forms as an independent state affiliate of 350.org, a global organization building a movement to solve the climate crisis. Our local teams begin growing the movement with global days of action, marches, teach-ins, and rallies across the state. We organize the “Snowless Ski Race” in Aspen. In 2012, Bill McKibben joins us for the “Do the Math Tour” launching fossil fuel divestment campaigns at institutions and universities across CO and the nation.
We decide to become a nonprofit organization to better support local 350 teams around the state and to more effectively address how Colorado contributes to and can help solve the climate crisis. In 2013, we continue growing our group of local teams and also organize the Forward on Climate March in Denver.
350 Colorado receives 501c3 status! Together, we stand up against the KXL pipeline and our elected leaders follow. 350 Boulder County spearheads the Edible Landscapes Working Group, harvesting over 10,000 pounds of fruit that would otherwise be wasted. 350 Central Colorado organizes a Forum on Climate, Energy, and Building a Resilient Community.
We host our first Colorado Climate Leadership workshop for aspiring and veteran climate activists across the state. Together with our coalition partners, we launch Coloradans Against Fracking, elevating the issue by organizing the Stop the Frack Attack March & hosting our first “Fracking Tour” of Weld and Larimer Counties. Our “Fossil Free Your Life” garden party educates hundreds of Boulder residents on ways to transition off fossil fuels.
Local organizers help build critical public support that leads to the rejection of the KXL pipeline nationally. The City of Boulder commits to 100% renewable energy, followed by dozens of others. 350CO and allies organize Break Free From Fossil Fuels, over 1,000 people participate and 50 risk arrest to stop auctioning public lands and waters for oil and gas development. Volunteers gather 215,000 signatures on statewide petitions in an effort to place initiatives on the 2016 ballot to protect our communities from fracking.
Over 8,000 people demand climate justice despite blizzard conditions at the People’s Climate March in Denver. Our volunteers lead a successful grassroots campaign that results in Colorado joining the U.S. climate alliance. 350CO local teams help pass local resolutions for green roofs in Denver and municipalization of Boulder’s energy grid. 350 Colorado Springs wins 100 megawatts of solar energy for the city. Board Member Leslie Weise wins The Colorado Independent’s 2017 Whistleblower award.
Hundreds of community members give over 50 hours of testimony and engage in civil disobedience at Colorado Oil and Gas Commission hearings. Our volunteers dedicate thousands of hours to help Prop 112 receive over 1.2 million votes, despite being outspent 40:1 by oil and gas. The Colorado Climate Justice Platform and Summit help make climate change a top issue during Colorado’s general election.
Our collective efforts including a petition to Gov. Polis, hours of testimony at the state Capitol, and hundreds of letters sent to legislators help to pass dozens of climate bills including SB19-181 (Colorado’s first-ever bill aimed to restrict oil and gas production in CO). Our 350 Metro Denver team successfully persuades the City of Denver to divest $180M from fossil fuels. We co-lead the Colorado Climate Strike Coalition, recruiting over 10,000 strikers, 30+ strike events, and even host world-renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Through the pandemic, 350 Colorado remained committed to action to solve the climate crisis. We moved our events to social-distanced, online activities and hosted over 140 actions or events, with over 10,000 participants! We supported Earth Day Live, a three-day global virtual event with over 4 million participants. We launched a massive Get Out the Vote effort, our volunteers reached over 97,000 likely environmental voters to help them make it to the polls. Our volunteers and staff attended every AQCC and COGCC regulatory hearing and secured statewide 2,000′ setbacks from oil and gas wells to homes & schools. After years of campaigning, our 350 Colorado Springs team secured a just transition off coal in Colorado Springs, with early closures for two dirty coal plants! Boulder became the first county in the nation to screen insurance carriers for ties to fossil fuels and passed the state’s strictest fracking regulations.
350CO finished securing early closure for two urban coal-fired power plants with commitments for no job losses, developing a replicable model for local just transition off fossil fuels. Through campaigning with local communities, 350CO helped secure increased protections from fracking in six municipalities, including the strictest fracking regulations in the state in Boulder County, which prevented a 140-well mega-pad from being constructed near a high school. 350 CO also secured a Pitkin County fossil fuel divestment win – compelling Pitkin County’s Board of Commissioners to pass a formal prohibition against investing in fossil fuels, tobacco, and firearm companies, and to pursue responsible Environmental, Social and Governance investing.
In 2022, due to mobilizing public pressure from local communities through letters, petitions, legislative meetings and advocacy, and testimony at relevant state and local public hearings, 350CO played a lead role in securing the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation commission’s decision to formally deny the Kerr McGee oil and gas well plan proposed near homes in Firestone, Colorado, the COGCC’s first time to deny an oil and gas permit ever.
Through the rulemaking process at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, we were able to ensure increased financial responsibilities for oil and gas operators, through stakeholder engagement and formal testimony. Significant changes and protections from this rulemaking include ensuring oil and gas operators have financial capability to meet obligations, increased financial assurances for transferred and inactive oil and gas wells, the creation of an ‘orphan well fund,’ and broadened access for local governments regarding plugging of oil and gas wells.
Also in 2022, 350CO’s Suncor Action Committee contributed heavily to securing the EPA’s decision to deny Suncor Oil Refinery’s Title V air quality permit renewal, expressing concern over environmental injustice toward Suncor’s neighbors. Previous to this permit proposal, Suncor’s plant 2 refinery had been operating on an expired permit for more than ten years. The EPA’s rejection of Suncor’s proposed permit cited cumulative pollution effects, non-attainment, and environmental justice issues.
Where do we go from here?