Colorado’s economy and its environment will receive a huge boost thanks in large part to Sen. Cory Gardner. At Gardner’s urging, President Donald Trump said recently he will sign a bill that injects $900 million into the Land and Water Conservation Fund and directs $1 billion a year into maintenance of American national parks.
The conservation fund was created in 1965 to funnel royalties from offshore drilling into conservation projects.Congress has never appropriated all of that money until now.
Gardner has been fighting for the program’s funding since he became a U.S. senator.
Yeah, that sounds nice but don’t fool yourself. Fran Silva-Blayney, a community volunteer for the Colorado Sierra Club, called out Gardner’s record in the Denver Post:
Gardner voted to confirm David Bernhardt as Interior secretary — a former oil and gas lobbyist. As we expected, Bernhardt is dismantling a century’s worth of advancement on environmental protection, trampling on human health and wildlife protections, and allowing corporate interests to dictate federal policies — like rollbacks to the Endangered Species Act, handouts to the oil and gas industry, and slashing of public lands protections.
Gardner voted yes on a proposed amendment to fast-track drilling on public lands with less local input. He voted for a resolution against the Bureau of Land Management’s Planning 2.0 which would permanently eliminate rules intended to include communities and the public in conversations about oil leasing decisions. And he voted to fast-track pipeline construction across public lands by circumventing environmental reviews. These decisions have led to roughly 15% of Colorado’s federal land open to drilling with about 3.7 million acres under current oil and gas leases — including spots targeted right next to our national parks.
Gardner is waffling on the CORE (Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy) Act — a bill that would conserve important wilderness in Colorado. The legislation even includes a first-of-its-kind protection — a National Historic Landscape — to honor Colorado’s military legacy and do more to stop new oil and gas destruction in areas important to ranchers and sportsmen. While there is broad local support for preserving these areas, and the recreation and economic opportunities they provide, Gardner chooses to side with Trump in opposition of the bill.
Kudos to the Colorado Times Recorder for catching this:
Last Thursday, while speaking with reporters at the White House, President Trump noted that his planned trip to Colorado on Friday with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) was canceled. We now have a video clip of that statement:
“I was going out to Nevada, as I said. I was going to Colorado, where we have Cory Gardner running and he’s doing a great job, by the way. He’s done a fantastic job, but we’ve postponed that. I think we’re gonna have Cory coming in here- maybe on Friday. We’re gonna do our event from the White House. We have a lot of things that we’re moving around because of what’s happening and because I want to be here.”
The only reported event on the President’s schedule was a high-dollar Denver fundraiser with Gardner. The possibility that Trump would hold the campaign fundraiser at the White House raised the eyebrows of numerous reporters, both nationally and locally.
The Gardner campaign, which has been notoriously reluctant to engage with the media, immediately released a statement.