POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Where the Democratic presidential candidates stand on Colorado issues

Ahead of the state’s presidential primary on Super Tuesday, the Democratic candidates talk health care, marijuana, education, public land and beer

Reporting:

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IMPORTANT VOTING INFORMATION

Q: DRILLING ON PUBLIC LAND


 

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. Gov. Jared Polis noted that allowing more development on federal lands would cause a 27% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas development in the state. Proponents counter that the lease proceeds can help fund national parks.

 

No new permits for drilling on public lands

A: His campaign website says he opposes new permits for drilling on public lands and waters. But he favors using public lands and waters for renewable energy. In February, he released a public lands plan to strengthen protections for government lands at threat from oil and gas development, such as Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

 

 

 

Wants to ban oil and gas extraction on federal lands

A: He introduced legislation in 2015 to ban new oil and gas drilling operations on federal public lands. If elected he pledged to issue an executive order prohibiting the practice.

 

 

 

Moratorium on new drilling leases in favor of renewable energy

A: Warren wants to put a moratorium on all new drilling leases -- including those on public lands. As for public lands, the senator wants to expand renewable energy production, with a target of generating at least 10% of the country’s electricity from public lands and off-shore sources. The royalties from renewable energy would be shared with state and local governments to help offset the drop in severance taxes from fossil fuels that local communities depend on. She also backs restoring federally protected status to national monuments such as Bear Ears in neighboring Utah. <br>

 

 

 

Regulations need revamping before drilling continues

A: The candidate would put a temporary moratorium on any additional public lands being used for oil and gas production. But only until his administration puts new rules in place. Bloomberg wants to revamp regulations to address health, safety and the environment, as well as increase rent and royalty payments the energy companies pay to produce on public lands. His new plan also would include opportunities for renewable energy, adhere to goals to reduce carbon pollution and help workers affected by declining oil and gas production.

 

 

 

Called for end to oil and gas production on federal lands

A: Steyer rose to prominence as a billionaire climate change activist and he’s clear on his position: “We need to stop all forms of fossil fuel infrastructure and production on public lands.” The candidate also wants to permanently ban drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. In addition to ending any current oil and gas production on public lands, he wants to restore protected areas.

 

 

 

Opposes new drilling operations

A: Her campaign website says she opposes new permits for drilling on federal lands, but says nothing about existing operations. The position has drawn fire from some environmentalists.

 

 

 

No new permits for drilling

A: His campaign website states that he opposes new drilling leases on public lands, but it’s not clear how he would handle current ones.

 

 

The Issues


Pick a card to see stances from the candidates.


 

The Candidates


Click a candidate to see where they stand.


 

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Former Vice President and U.S. Senator   

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg

Former New York Mayor and businessman   

x Pete Buttigieg

x Pete Buttigieg

Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (Campaign suspended 3/1/20)   

x Amy Klobuchar

x Amy Klobuchar

U.S. Senator from Minnesota (Campaign suspended 3/2/20)   

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont   

x Tom Steyer

x Tom Steyer

Businessman and climate activist (Campaign suspended 2/29/20)   

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Senator from Massachusetts