Welcome to 350 Roaring Fork!
March – Local Teams Fundraise!
We are raising at least $3000 for our team this week and next. Please donate today and support our work to build the movement for a clean and just future!
We plan to get the City of Aspen and other resorts to push for Wells Fargo Bank to end its fossil fuel financing. Aspen banks with Wells Fargo, the second leading financier of fossil fuels, to the tune of nearly $200 billion since 2016. The funding of new coal, oil and gas development by the leading four banks, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and Bank of America, represents more ADDITIONAL carbon emissions than we have to ELIMINATE every year until 2050 to avert catastrophic climate change. What is wrong with this picture?!
Opportunistically, Aspen is a Wells Fargo customer. Indeed, many of us are customers of the big four banks, directly or indirectly. While we continue to lobby federal, state and local officials for climate action that meets the challenge, we also have the chance to pressure these financial giants through consumer pressure. We plan to work with the City of Aspen to team up with other municipal Wells Fargo clients to call on Wells Fargo to be part of the solution—or we will find a new bank!
We also plan to sponsor a commercial energy benchmarking ordinance in Aspen and a net zero carbon resolution at the RE-1 school district. We are going to educate the community about how to keep chemical herbicides out of our water and soils. And we are building support for state climate policy, such as phasing out coal and gas energy and holding Gov. Polis to his ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.
But to do so, we need activists and dollars. We need to raise at least $3000 by March 19 to keep our team coordinator, plus expenses for promotion and materials! Donate here!
Thurs, March 18, 5:30-6:30pm
Join The Roaring Fork Food Alliance 350 Roaring Fork and Carbondale Parks and Recreation for a free webinar and discussion on Carbondale’s Weed Management Plan and efforts to discourage and minimize the use of chemical herbicides on town parks and other lands. We also plan to test and monitor the water quality of the town’s irrigation ditch. Gwen Garcelon of the Roaring Fork Food Alliance, Eric Brendlinger from Carbondale Parks and Rec and John Berger, an integrated weed management expert, will speak about alternatives to chemical weed control in hopes of fostering conversation, drawing lessons that can be applied beyond town lands and encouraging community responsibility over our shared soil and water resources. Protecting our water and soils will be essential for local food production and building resiliency in the face of climate uncertainty.
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.
Join the Movement!
To volunteer or learn how to get involved in 350 Roaring Fork, email Will Hodges, Team Coordinator at: email@example.com.
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:
- Municipal Divestment
- Reducing Greenhouse Gases and Other Air Pollution
- Local Solutions
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
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.
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!