Click through for the interactive map of governor’s views by state. Here’s an excerpt from Climate Progress (Ryan Koronowski):
The new Republican majorities in the 114th Congress are mostly — 56 percent — on the record denying the reality of climate change. And barely two weeks into its tenure, the 114th is on a roll, with the new Senate Environment Committee Chair going on a rant about climate change being a hoax the first day he got his gavel, and a series of odd amendment votes on a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline revealing that the Senate itself may be a hoax.
What about the leaders of each of the 50 states, unburdened by congressional backbiting, national lobbying, or being whipped by party leaders? Working closer to the various impacts of climate change, do governors fare any better on either acknowledging humans cause climate change or working to do something about it?
Governor John Hickenlooper (D)
Colorado Governor Hickenlooper has said humans are contributing significantly to climate change and that to reverse it will take “a concerted effort, not just on the part of the United States, but worldwide.” Hickenlooper spearheaded efforts and signed into law first-of-their-kind limits on methane — a potent climate pollutant — from oil and gas production. As a former petroleum geologist, he’s been a big supporter of the oil and gas industry in Colorado. He appointed an industry campaign donor to oversee the oil industry. In 2012, he appeared in paid advertising supporting the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry lobby and trade group which has a history of fighting health and safety standards. He has even drank fracking fluid to prove there was no risk to human health. More recently, he compromised an 11th-hour deal to keep contentious oil and gas measures off the November 2014 election ballot. Hickenlooper has also developed a troubling record of opposing protections for at-risk wildlife in oil and gas producing areas, including the lesser prairie chicken, the Gunnison sage grouse, and the Greater sage grouse. Despite his close ties with the fossil fuel industry, Hickenlooper has been a proponent of renewable electricity, and signed a bill that doubled the renewable power target for rural electric cooperatives. Governor Hickenlooper won re-election in 2014 and this will be his last term.