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As a master scuba instructor, I have been scuba diving from Hawaii to the Bahamas and from Bora Bora to the Spitzbergen Islands of Norway.  I have seen first-hand the impact humans have on our oceans, from finding trash on the ocean floor far away from land, to seeing the decline in our coral reefs, to witnessing the shrinking ice cover in the Arctic Ocean.  This is an important issue that we must address.  However, I believe that too many of our current elected officials want to make each of you feel guilty about climate change and then use your guilt to implement their personal “pet” policies.  For 50 years, Americans have fought to protect our environment and continue to do so today.  From 2005 to 2017, the United States reduced carbon emissions more than any other country in the world.  In fact, during this time period the U.S. reduced carbon emissions by almost as much as the entire European Union (758 million metric tons for the U.S. vs 770 million metric tons for the E.U.).  China’s carbon emissions increased by a factor of 4 times the U.S. decline while India’s emissions increased by 1.3 times the U.S. decline. 

There is work to be done.  But the U.S. simply cannot reduce its emissions enough to offset the increases in the rest of the world.  If the U.S. can’t, then the State of Colorado certainly cannot do so by itself either.  Americans, and Coloradans, have done a good job of reducing carbon emissions and will continue to do so, not because we have been told to, but because we want to.  We all breath the same air.  We drink the same water.  We look at the same sky.  The State should be supportive of any and all efforts by our citizens to reduce carbon emissions or otherwise improve our environment.  Rather than the State of Colorado picking winners and losers, overriding the will of the people to push their personal agenda as they have done with SB 19-181, subjecting our citizens to the dictates of California in telling us what car to drive, and mandating new rules with incentives that benefit the well to do at the expense of those who are not as well off, I want to empower all of our businesses and our citizens to come up with creative solutions to help address this problem while also supporting the growth of our economy.  The power of 5 million Coloradans working together is far greater than our State government by itself.

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