NEW: Big Oil Admits They Oppose CORE Act, Gardner Is Doing Their Bidding in Washington
Gardner has previously dismissed CORE Act as “not a concern” & has been “unserious about the ‘CORE Act’s’ fate”
Denver, CO – Senator Cory Gardner has been doing the bidding of Big Oil in his steadfast refusal to support the decades in the making Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) Act. While many conservationists and environmentalists suspected it, a new report from Colorado Newsline confirms that the oil and gas industry “opposes the measure” that would protect 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado and prevent drilling on landmark places like the Thompson Divide.
Gardner has refused to support the collaborative wilderness bill under the guise that he has edits, but the Senator’s “halfhearted” changes were “redundant,” “nonspecific, outside of the scope of the bill or not rooted in requests from Colorado,” showing he is “unserious about the ‘CORE Act’s’ fate.” Now we know his Big Oil donors — who’ve donated at least $1.7 million to Gardner’s campaigns — are likely whispering in his ear with their opposition.
Gardner is desperately trying to greenwash his abysmal environmental record that has earned him a lifetime score of 11% from the League of Conservation Voters, but his true anti-environment colors continue to shine through as he is still “blocking” the CORE Act in the Senate.
Read key points from Colorado Newsline below or the full story HERE:
Colorado Newsline: Sweeping federal protections inch closer for 400,000 acres of western Colorado public lands
CORE Act prohibitions would apply to oil and gas development
By Jacob Fischler | September 16, 2020
- The public lands package passed the House on its own last year, and again as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual measure that authorizes all defense programs and has passed every year since 1961.
- Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican in a tight re-election race this fall, has not taken a position on the bill. Neither Tipton nor Gardner returned requests for comment.
- “We’ve lobbied [Gardner] for years over it and have this sort of passive-aggressive response of he’s not blocking it,” said Mark Pearson, the executive director of the San Juan Citizens Alliance, a group that has advocated for public lands designations in the San Juan Mountains for nearly 20 years. “But he’s in the majority party in the Senate, so yes, he is blocking it.”Only 73,000 of the 400,000 acres covered by the bill would be designated wilderness, the most severe category of federal land protection that restricts virtually all development. But all of the affected lands would have new prohibitions that would apply to the oil and gas industry, which opposes the measure.
- Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, a Denver-based group representing about 300 energy companies, said in a statement the bill represents a false choice between conservation and production.
- The bill polls well in the areas it would affect. A survey last year sponsored by the San Juan Citizens Alliance showed about two-thirds of southern and western Colorado residents approve of the bill’s main concepts. In the same poll, 84% of respondents said public lands help the local economy.