This article covers Congressional candidates from Colorado for the midterm election this November. To access our Colorado primary review, click here. To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project and our ranking system, read our full intro here.
In the summaries that we provide for incumbents, we include a score based on their “LCV” score. The LCV is the League of Conservation Voters, and they track incumbent’s votes on major environmental policies that are going through Congress. If you want to know more about the LCV, click here.
U.S. House of Representatives
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Our primary pick: Diana DeGette (D) – Incumbent since 1996 – Rank: Strong
- Vice Chair, Committee on Energy and Commerce, 2007-2011
- Energy and Commerce, Member
- Subcommittee on Environment, Member
- Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, Member
- Subcommittee on Health (Energy and Commerce), Member
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (Energy and Commerce), Ranking Member
Diana is a ranking member of quite a few important subcommittees that have to do with environment and energy (see above). She’s been working on keeping EPA protections intact, she’s a ranking member of the committee that’s been reviewing the solar loan guarantee program, and researching the safety threats that come from fracking. She’s a big supporter of expanding hydro-power initiatives, and she co-sponsored the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, which is helping expand hydro-power projects and energy use. A lot of the small hydropower projects are taking place due to this piece of legislation is in Colorado. She’s bringing jobs and energy to District 1, the rest of the state, and the nation.
Diana thinks that fracking won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Although we don’t particularly like that mindset, she has worked really hard to put groundwater safeguards into place and has made funding available to do research on the best ways to avoid fracking accidents that could harm the environment. She’s been working towards implementing some really good regulations for the chemicals used for fracking, which include making the chemicals used in the process available to the public, and making the industry non-exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act (it’s exempt now, boo).
Diana has put some good common-sense regulations in place and has shown her commitment to the environment and public health through her voting record and her stances on green energy.
Diana’s LCV scorecard score is, overall, a 96. Pretty solid.
Casper Stockham (R) – Rank: Weak
Stockham has vague opinions about sustainable energy. He wants safe energy production protocol, but he also supports expanding all forms of energy production, even the dirty ones. He wants to expand the energy sector for the job increase and the economic advantages but doesn’t plan on protecting the places he’s collecting this energy from. Overall, Stockham is ambiguous about most of his platform and we don’t think that will translate well in Congress.
Raymon Doane (L) – Rank: Unknown
Doane does not have any information available about his platform.
Miguel Lopez (D/Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
Lopez does not have a platform to research for his opinions on sustainability.
Our Pick from the Primaries: Joe Neguse (D) – Rank: Strong
Joe is our pick for District 12. He has some really strong stances on fracking and ending subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. He’s all about transitioning 100% to renewables and moving the subsidies currently given to the fossil fuel industry to renewable energy companies. He’s a big supporter of Colorado’s Rising 2,500 ft. setback initiative, which is a pretty cool thing that enforces at least 2,500 ft. of land between a fracking site and/or oil development space and any occupied building. He wants to introduce a Clean Ground Act, which would encompass regulations to end the influx of poisonous chemicals into the ground, cutting back and regulating pesticides, and researching other health hazards that we are putting into the ground. Joe is also a supporter of the OFF Act, which would put the US on track for 100% clean energy by 2035. That’s an ambitious goal, and we like it!
Peter Yu (R) – Rank: Weak
Yu believes that America should be energy independent, even if that means expanding the dirty energy industry. He also buys into the rather harmful idea that people, not huge corporations and industry, are the reason climate change is a persisting problem. Where individuals should take responsibility for their actions and live more sustainably, the majority of pollution and climate change and carbon emissions comes from huge, unregulated corporations, the dirty energy industry, and our crumbling infrastructure.
Roger Barris (L) – Rank: Weak
Barris is one of those candidates that provides a lot of conditions on his support for sustainability and doesn’t quite believe in the science behind climate change and who causes it. His entire reason for supporting green energy is so that “in case” climate change is as real and as bad and science literally proves it is, we should be prepared for it. He has intricate plans on implementing a carbon tax, but one that requires so much extra intellect to understand and concessions from unrelated political issues it would take way too long to get through Congress to make a difference. Overall, Baris seems confused about why climate change is an issue he even needs to address.
Nick Thomas (I) – Rank: Weak
Thomas supports switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy. He acknowledges that climate change is real and a very pressing issue. He wants to see good stewardship of the lands that America uses daily. However, his plan is vague, and details are non-existent about how he plans to execute these fast-acting solutions to pollution and climate change.
Kevin Alumbaugh (G/Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
Alumbaugh does not have any information available about sustainability.
Scott Tipton (R) – Incumbent since 2011 – Rank: Bad
Tipton doesn’t have much going for him. His interests include keeping money from the tourism industry in his donations and pushing all forms of sustainable energy production onto the furthest back burner he can find. His platform on renewable energy is scattered and vague. His LCV score is a whopping 6. Let’s move onto someone better, CO-03.
Diane Mitsch Bush (D) – Rank: Strong
Bush has pledged to vote for the environment when she’s in Congress. She wants the country to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and would hold Congress to that standard as far as voting goes. She wants to modernize the electric grid and really push funding for renewable energy. Strengthening vehicle and industrial emissions standards while cutting subsidies for fossil fuel industries is also on her agenda.
A cool thing about Bush’s platform is that she wants to introduce programs for fossil fuel workers that will inevitably be laid-off so that they can transition to a renewable energy economy. She also wants to set up a system that will actively find and repair methane leaks from pipelines and wells, which is a proactive approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions other than through regulation. She’s a supporter of strict regulation and policy when it comes to protecting our federal lands from oil drilling and endangered species and their habitats. She also prioritizes our water sources and wants to clean them (and keep them clean). Overall, Bush has a really great platform for CO-03’s environmental interests.
Gaylon Kent (L) – Rank: Unknown
Kent is basically a failed Republican. He has no information about environmental policy available.
Mary Malarsie (I) – Rank: Weak
Malarsie is an all-of-the-abover and her unabashed support for the fossil fuel industry is of no interest to us. She supports a weak and unenthusiastic transition to renewable energy, but vaguely supports it nonetheless.
Bruce Lohmiller (G/Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
No green info available.
Gary Swing (G/Write-In) – Rank: Weak
Swing supports getting rid of or heavily regulating fracking, but other than that, the information presented is not sufficient.
Richard “Turtle” Tetu (Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
Turtle, despite his name, does not seem to be interested in green technology.
Ken Buck (R) – Incumbent since 2014 – Rank: Bad
Ken thinks that green energy is a burden to the common American and couldn’t give a whit what happens to the environment. Needless to say, we’re not a huge fan.
Karen McCormick (D) – Rank: Weak
Karen wants to advance the economy sustainable energy. Karen doesn’t outline any specific opinions on how to move the energy infrastructure away from oil, coal, and natural gas, but she does support growing the hydro, solar, and wind energy options available in the 4th district.
John Vigil (G/Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
Vigil does not have enough information available to rank him.
Richard Lyons Weil (D/Write-In) – Rank: Weak
Weil supports renewable and sustainable energy but doesn’t have a plan, a platform, or an idea how to change Congress to move in a sustainable direction.
Our Primary pick: Stephany Rose Spaulding (D) – Rank: Strong
Stephany correlates global and national security with climate change, and we couldn’t agree more. It’s important to understand the risks that climate change poses to all Americans and to every human everywhere. Stephany wants to see fossil fuels stopped and replaced with renewable energy resources.
Stephany supports a Carbon Dividends Plan, which will increase the fees on carbon emissions as time goes on, promoting green energy initiatives and use. The dividends from this tax will go right back to the people.
She wants to see energy infrastructure that balances the use of sustainable energy platforms with the decline of fossil fuels. As fossil fuels die out, the economy will be stabilized with the production of green energy jobs.
She’s also big into protecting the Rocky Mountain parks, wild places, and preserves from fracking and extraction methods. In a unique twist, she’s also focused on eliminating inaccurate information about energy and environmental impacts. Only the truth for Stephany.
Doug Randall (L) – Rank: Uknown
Randall does not have information available about his platform on green energy.
Doug Lamborn (R) – Incumbent since 2007 – Rank: Bad
As the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans, Lamborn has nothing with his title other than hinder necessary regulation to keep our waters clean and unpolluted. He supports an all-of-the-above approach but mostly supports letting fossil fuel companies expand into our preserved wild spaces and oceans. His LCV scorecard rank is a 3%. His voting record on sustainable energy is abysmal. Lamborn needs to re-prioritize the way he views our Earth as something that should be invested in, not taken advantage of.
John Croom (I/Write-In) – Rank: Uknown
Croom does not have information available about his green energy platform.
Lori Furstenberg (D/Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
Furstenberg does not have enough information available to rank according to her stances on sustainable energy.
Our Primary pick: Jason Crow (D) – Rank: Strong
Jason Crow is a man with a plan. He wants to get into Congress and get climate change on the agenda as a pressing issue. He’s made a pretty handy list of his goals to achieve in Congress when it comes to Clean Energy. Here are some highlights:
- Transition to 50% clean energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050
- Promote investments in infrastructure and smart grid technology
- Lower carbon and mercury emissions produced by utilities
- Protect rebates, low-interest loans, and tax incentives for industry transitioning to clean energy
- Provide tax credits for taxpayers who install solar power or other conservation projects in their homes
- Invest in research and development for new energy sources and clean energy technologies
- Increase use of clean energy for government properties such as the Department of
- Defense to ensure reliable, independent, and secure sources of power
- Require consistent safety regulations for oil and gas operators
- Require a disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations to protect public health and safety
- Close the loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act that allows hydraulic fracturing to ignore Clean Water Act rules
This is a pretty solid platform if you ask us. The importance of all of these factors in producing a healthy environment can’t be ignored anymore. Crow also wants to protect the public lands, and support the EPA’s ability to protect clean water, air, and the environment from toxic chemicals and pollutants. He also wants to see the U.S. become a strong player in the Paris Climate Agreement, have a strong leadership presence in a green energy economy, and see the U.S. move away from fossil fuel consumption and production, both domestic and foreign.
Mike Coffman (R) – Incumbent since 2009 – Rank: Bad
Coffman is all talk no action. His platform suggests that he wants to and strives to protect the environment, but his voting records suggest the exact opposite. He likes to push off the blame that belongs on the shoulders of American corporations to other countries, including countries that are currently making bigger strides that we are at maintaining the environment. Coffman is a slacker and his LCV scorecard ranking is 5%.
Kat Martin (L) – Rank: Unknown
Martin does not really have a developed platform to draw conclusions from.
Dan Chapin (I) – Rank: Weak
Chapin wants to introduce a Cap and Trade program that is imposed on every American citizen, meaning that every person would have a net carbon output they could reach every year. His exact plan for implementing such a lofty goal is completely unclear. He is a strong supporter of climate change mitigation, however, his platform is bland and vague.
Christopher Allen (G/Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
Allen is a little short on information at the moment.
Ed Perlmutter (D) – Rank: Good
Perlmutter believes in the all-the-above energy plan. He does support incentivizing clean energy initiatives and decreasing our overall dependence on fossil fuels. He wants to keep federal lands free and available to the public and protect the environment using federal power. This includes wildlife preserves and national monuments and parks. His overall LCV scorecard ranking is at 86%, which is pretty strong. Overall, his support for fossil fuels is only there so that we can use fossil fuels as a crutch to transition to greener options.
Mark Barrington (R) – Rank: Bad
Barrington supports expanding domestic oil exploration and extraction and completing the Keystone XL pipeline. No thanks, Barrington.
Jennifer Nackerud (L) – Rank: Unknown
Nackerud does not have information available about her platform.
Michael Haughey (G/Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
Haughey does not have information available about sustainable energy.
Steve Zorn (D/Write-In) – Rank: Unknown
Zorn does not have any information available for green energy.