RMCO's Recent Statements and News Releases
April 29, 2013: Tom Easley, RMCO's director of programs, testified before a committee of the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill creating a lead state government official on climate change and requring an update of the state's Climate Action Plan and annual reports to the legislature on climate protection and preparedness actions and on the state's vulnerabilities to climate change impacts.
August 29, 2012: RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report on how climate change is already affecting the seven national seashores on the Atlantic Coast: Cape Cod (in Massachusetts) , Fire Island (New York), Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia), Cape Hatteras (North Carolina), Cape Lookout (North Carolina), Cumberland Island (Georgia), and Canaveral (Florida) national seashores.
May 16, 2012: RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report, Doubled Trouble: More Midwestern Extreme Storms, which starkly documents how much heavy precipitation has increased in the Midwest and sheds new light on the devastating and costly floods that have hammered the region, especially in recent years. New RMCO analysis of a half century of precipitation data across the Midwest, defined as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, indicates the region has had an increasing number of large storms since 1961. The largest of storms—those of three inches or more of precipitation in a single day—have increased the most, with their annual frequency more than doubling over the past 51 years.
May 7, 2012: RMCO released a fact sheet, Projected Climate-Change Impacts on Colorado Water, which summarizes in graphic form the results of two recent studies, the Colorado River Water Availability Study Final Report and the Joint Front Range Climate Change Vulnerability Study. Together, they provide the best information yet on how climate change may affect Colorado water supplies in 2040, representing projections for 2025-2054. The studies present the results from five climate models used for both reports.
January 19, 2012: RMCO submitted joint comments to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study that it is in the process of compiling, on behalf of RMCO and some of the participants in our Water Adaptation Steering Committee -- representatives of the National Wildlife Federation, the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Denver Water, and the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado.
September 27, 2011: RMCO and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition released a report, Greater Yellowstone in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption. The report highlights the particular threats that a changed climate poses to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem—Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, parts of six national forests, and more. New climate projections obtained for the report indicate that, under a medium-high emissions rate of heat-trapping gases, summers in Yellowstone NP on average could become slightly hotter than recent summers in Culver City in the Los Angeles area.
July 13, 2011: RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report, Great Lakes National Parks in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption. The report documents the vulnerabilities to human-caused climate change of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana; Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Isle Royale National Park, Michigan; and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin. New climate projections done for the report show that summers in Indiana Dunes could become as hot as those of Gainesville, Florida, have been, if future emissions of heat-trapping pollution are at medium-high levels.
June 15, 2011: RMCO released its updated Colorado Climate Scorecard summarizing the implementation status of the the Colorado Climate Action Plan announced by Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. in November 2007 and the 70 recommendations made in October 2007 by the blue-ribbon Climate Action Panel convened by RMCO in its Colorado Climate Project.
May 17, 2011: RMCO released a wrap-up of the the 2011 legislative session of the Colorado General Assembly, which concluded May 11. Some important gains were made on new laws that could benefit climate action, and several bills were defeated that would have set back gains made in previous sessions.
November 10, 2010: RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report, Acadia National Park in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption. The report details how a climate altered by human activities may affect the first national park east of the Mississippi River. New climate projections done for the report show that before the end of the century Acadia could become as hot as Atlantic City, New Jersey, historically has been.
October 26, 2010: RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report, California's National Parks in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption. The report details how climate disruption could affect ten national parks in California. If we do not limit emissions of heat-trapping gases, before the end of the century Yosemite National Park would become hotter than Sacramento historically has been. Temperature increases of this magnitude would have far-reaching impacts on Yosemite, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and Redwood national parks, and more of California's most special places.
September 23, 2010: RMCO submitted testimony to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission asking it to work out with Xcel Energy and key stakeholders the details needed to achieve at least the reductions in heat-trapping gases identified in Xcel's proposed plan to comply with a new state law requiring the replacement with cleaner power of a certain amount of power now generated by older coal-fired powerplants. The RMCO testimony.
September 1, 2010: RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report, Virginia Special Places in Peril: Jamestown, Chincoteague, and Shenandoah Threatened by Climate Disruption. The report details how Jamestown, the site of the first permanent European settlement in what became the American colonies and the United States, may be lost to rising waters of the James River, pushed higher by rising seas and tidal waters. Likely climate-change Impacts to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Shenandoah National Park are documented, too. The news release announcing the report.
July 21, 2010: RMCO submitted joint comments to the Colorado Water Conservation Board on its draft Colorado River Water Availability Study Phase I, on behalf of RMCO and some of the participants in our Water Adaptation Steering Committee -- representatives of Aurora Water, the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Denver Water, and the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado. RMCO also submitted our own separate comments.
May 26, 2010: RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), released a report, Special Places at Risk in the Gulf: Impacts of the BP Oil Catastrophe. The report lists the 15 top national and state parks and wildlife areas, and their key resources, threatened by oil contamination from the BP oil blowout. The news release announcing the report.
April 7, 2010: RMCO and the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report on climate change effects on Glacier National Park. Glacier is one of the 25 national parks identified as most vulnerable to the effects of a changed climate in our October 2009 report, National Parks in Peril. This new profile details and documents the particular ways in which Glacier is vulnerable.The RMCO news release.
March 19, 2010: On behalf of ourselves and others including the Colorado State Climatologist, officials of Colorado River Water Conservation District, Denver Water, Colorado Springs Utilities, and Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado, we submitted testimony to congressional appropriations committees in support of increased funding for key climate/water data collection systems. See the separate testimony to the House Apppropriations Committee's Interior and Agriculture subcommittees.
March 8, 2010: RMCO applauded the final passage by the Colorado General Assembly of a bill strenthening the state's requirement for how much clean energy investor-owned utilities must use to generate the electricity they sell -- carrying out a portion of a key recommendation of the Climate Action Panel RMCO convened. The RMCO news release.
February 5, 2010: RMCO director of programs Tom Easley testified in the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill to strengthen by 50% the state's requirement for how much clean energy investor-owned utilities must use to generate the electricity they sell. The RMCO testimony.
October 1, 2009: RMCO and Natural Resources Defense Council released National Parks In Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption. The report documents that climate disruption is the greatest threat ever to our national parks, lists the 25 most endangered parks, and makes 32 recommendations for actions to protect the parks. The RMCO news release.
August 24, 2009: RMCO president Stephen Saunders testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Parks about climate disruption in national parks and management options. The RMCO testimony.
February 12, 2009: RMCO director of programs Tom Easley testified in the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill to fund Colorado Water Conservation Board water adaptation programs, many of which were included in Governor Ritter's Colorado Climate Action Agenda and also in RMCO's Climate Action Panel recommendations. The RMCO testimony.
January 29, 2009: RMCO director of programs Tom Easley testified in the Colorado General Assembly in support of a bill to clarify that rural electric cooperatives can set graduated rates based on a consumer's level of electricity consumption, as recommended by RMCO's Climate Action Panel. The RMCO testimony.
June 10, 2008: RMCO recommended that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency strengthen its draft strategy for dealing with the water quality effects of climate change by focusing more on the impacts likely to occur in the West. The RMCO letter to EPA.
April 28, 2008: RMCO recommended that the Colorado Public Utilities Commission require Xcel Energy, Colorado's largest electric utility, to reduce its emissions of heat-trapping gases by 20% by 2020. This would be the the first major action of the administration of Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., to achieve the kind of reductions in heat-trapping gases that will be needed to meet the state climate-protection goals the governor established (when he adopted the goals recommended by RMCO's Climate Action Panel). The RMCO comments to the PUC.
April 12, 2008: RMCO commented on a draft plan by a task force of the Western Governors' Association to promote the establishment of wildlife corridors in the West to help wildlife deal with changes in habitat resulting from climate change. The RMCO letter to WGA.
January 14, 2008: RMCO issued a news release on the prediction by the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado State Forester that, because of warmer temperatures and drought, mountain pine beetles have spread so much that all of Colorado's mature lodgepole pine forests would be "killed" within three to five years. "Without global warming, we would not be losing our lodgepole forests," said RMCO president Stephen Saunders. The RMCO news release.
December 8, 2007: The Rocky Mountain News published an opinion-editorial column by RMCO president Stephen Saunders supporting the decision by Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., to have Colorado consider adopting California's standards require new cars and trucks to emit fewer heat-trapping gases. The RMCO op-ed column.
October 10, 2007: Mayors John Hickenlooper of Denver, Doug Hutchinson of Fort Collins, and Steve Burkholder of Lakewood announce that the Project Directors of the Colorado Climate Project have approved the recommenations of the Climate Action Panel which they appointed. The RMCO news release.
September 13, 2007: The Climate Action Panel approves its recommendations for actions to reduce Colorado's contribution and vulnerability to climate change. The RMCO news release.
April 6, 2007: RMCO comments on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report on the impacts of climate change. “This is the most authoritative statement possible that climate disruption is already showing up in the American West as less snow, less water, more drought, and more wildfire, and unless we take a lot of action it’s likely to get much worse," said RMCO president Stephen Saunders. The RMCO news release.
February 2, 2007: RMCO comments on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report on the basic science of climate change. “The world’s scientists have done their job, and now it’s up to the rest of us. With the overwhelming evidence in today’s consensus statement, it’s time for the remaining holdouts to join those of us who want to solve this problem while we still can,” said RMCO president Stephen Saunders. The RMCO news release.