POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Where the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate stand on key Colorado issues ahead of primary

Rivals John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff are offering distinct choices for voters ahead of the June 30 election

  Public Lands


 

Q:

BLM RELOCATION

Do you support the relocation of the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Colorado?

Background: The Trump administration has aggressively promoted energy production on public lands, including in Colorado. The state is among the leaders in drilling on public lands, and the effort is expanding. In 2017, the federal Bureau of Land Management wanted to limit oil and gas production on 190,000 acres in eastern Colorado, but in 2019, the BLM suggested granting protections to fewer than 2,000 acres. This has riled wildlife conservationists who want to protect habitats, including those for the sage grouse, and also those who want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Proponents counter that the lease proceeds can help fund national parks.

 

Backed the agency’s move to Colorado

A: He said it made sense to move the agency that manages public lands closer to them and supported the move. But he expressed concern that it delivered fewer jobs than first promised and the agency doesn’t have a director who supports public lands.

 

 

 

Concerned about move’s impact on agency

A: Romanoff said he’s always glad for jobs in Colorado but is concerned about what the move signaled. “I don’t support an effort to dismantle the BLM or drive the workers to quit so you can shut down the agency,” he said. If that was the motivation for relocating the headquarters, he added, “I’m not for that.”

 

 

Q:

CORE ACT

What efforts do you support to expand access to public lands, and would you vote for the CORE Act?

Background: The fierce debate over who can use Colorado’s federally owned public lands -- and for what purpose -- is a constant fault line in Colorado politics. The U.S. House last year passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act -- a massive public lands measure that would designate roughly 100,000 acres for new wilderness and recreation in the state, and remove more than 200,000 acres from oil and gas development. The measure has stalled in the GOP-led Senate and faces a veto threat from the White House. Meanwhile, some Colorado Republicans are pushing for changes, like protections for water rights and grazing for local farmers and ranchers, before they’re willing to support it.

 

Supports passing the CORE Act

A: Hickenlooper made public lands a focus in his terms as governor. He supports dedicating 3% of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to be used to expand public access to federal lands and make exploring them more accessible. He supports federal agencies working with local agencies and the outdoor sports and recreation industry to invest in projects that will increase access to the outdoors. Hickenlooper supports breaking down barriers for low-income communities and communities of color so everyone can share the benefits of the outdoors.

 

 

 

Supports using public lands for renewable energy

A: Romanoff favors banning oil and gas development on public lands and offshore. He supports the CORE Act and backs a proposal from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren to use public lands for renewable energy.

 

 

Background: The Trump administration has aggressively promoted energy production on public lands, including in Colorado. The state is among the leaders in drilling on public lands, and the effort is expanding. In 2017, the federal Bureau of Land Management wanted to limit oil and gas production on 190,000 acres in eastern Colorado, but in 2019, the BLM suggested granting protections to fewer than 2,000 acres. This has riled wildlife conservationists who want to protect habitats, including those for the sage grouse, and also those who want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Proponents counter that the lease proceeds can help fund national parks.

 

Does not support oil and gas extraction on public lands

A: Hickenlooper supports curbing future oil and gas leasing on public lands. He opposes breaking pre-existing contracts, but is focused on the transition to clean energy.

 

 

 

Opposes oil and gas extraction on public lands

A: Romanoff supports prohibiting new fossil fuel extraction on public lands and offshore.

 

 

The Candidates


Click a candidate to see where they stand.


 

John Hickenlooper

John Hickenlooper

Former Colorado governor and Denver mayor   

Andrew Romanoff

Andrew Romanoff

Former state House speaker and director Mental Health Colorado