Conservation Colorado released its legislative scorecard Tuesday, and not surprisingly, lauded 36 Democrats in the House and 18 of the 19 Democrats in the Senate for perfect scores on environmental bills.
The four-member delegation from Pueblo — both in the House and Senate — were the only Democrats who failed to garner perfect scores from the environmental group.
Conservation Colorado and its affiliated campaign finance committees spent at least $5 million in the 2018 election cycle on contributions and advertising in support of House and Senate Democrats, as well as for now-Gov. Jared Polis.
The legislative scorecard evaluated lawmakers on a dozen bills from the 2019 session, including:
- Senate Bill 181, the oil and gas measure that drew hundreds to the state Capitol during the session and made sweeping changes in the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, as well as allowed local governments a greater say in regulating oil and gas activity within their jurisdictions;
- House Bill 1261, known as the state's climate action plan, this measure sought to reduce statewide greenhouse gas pollution, and tasked the state's Air Quality Control Commission with coming up with new regulations that would also reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
- House Bill 1314, which created a Just Transition office that will help workers in the coal industry transition from mining work to jobs in other sectors, including grants that would cover the pay gap.
- Senate Bill 236, a bill that extended the life of the Public Utilities Commission and added to the commission requirements that it promote clean energy.
- House Bill 1264, which deals with the state's troubled conservation easement program. The bill required that a working group this summer come up with a plan to compensate landowners who were deprived of state tax credits in exchange for donating their lands to land trusts.
Eleven of the 12 bills cited in the report card passed and were signed by the governor.
The group noted four issue areas upon which they based their ratings: climate and clean energy; oil and gas; lands, water and wildlife; and transportation in regards to electric vehicles and vehicle emissions, not fixing roads and bridges.
Executive Director Kelly Nordini said in a statement Tuesday that "Colorado’s 2019 legislative session was historic by any measure. From climate action and clean energy to oil and gas reforms to protecting our lands, water and wildlife, this year’s scorecard provides an accounting of who helped and hindered Colorado’s progress.”
Most of the bills cited in the scorecard passed with few votes from Senate Republicans and even fewer votes from House Republicans. At least half of the measures cited in the scorecard passed on party-line votes in the House.
No Republicans in either the House or Senate earned a 100% rating; the only one of the 40 Republicans in the House and Senate to score above 50% was Sen. Kevin Priola of Henderson, at 64%. The highest-scoring Republican in the House was Rep. Perry Will of New Castle, at 38%.
The one Senate Democrat who failed to earn a 100% rating: Senate President Leroy Garcia of Pueblo. Speaker of the House KC Becker of Boulder did earn a perfect score, as did Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg of Boulder and House Majority Leader Alec Garnett of Denver.
The lowest-rated Democrats in the General Assembly: Reps. Brianna Buentello and Daneya Esgar, both of Pueblo, and who both scored at 85%. Rep. Don Valdez of La Jara, whose district includes a small portion of Pueblo, also had a less-than-perfect score at 92%.