An environmental group claims 70% of Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions come from oil and gas. But that’s in dispute.

An oil well pumpjack in a farm field in Weld County against the backdrop of the Front Range on June 5, 2020.
Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun

In what is becoming a running skirmish between environmental groups and the Polis administration over how to curb the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, a new analysis calculates that 70% of all the gases come from oil and gas operations and calls for the shutdown of the sector by 2030.

The figures used in the analysis done by 350 Colorado are being disputed by both state air quality regulators and the oil and gas industry.

“I think we have to use the most protective numbers we can,” said Micha Parkin, executive director of 350 Colorado.

The number 350 is a reference to the parts per billion (ppb) of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere at which scientists say the Earth remains a livable planet. In May 2020, the level was 417 ppb and it is rising each year.

“We really need to take action quickly to avoid the worst-case scenario,” Parkin said

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Industry groups, however, contend that the report’s numbers are jerry-rigged to advance the environmental group’s avowed campaign of “Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground.”

Read more from Mark Jaffe, Colorado Sun.

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