Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., January 9, 2014 - In December, the Environment Foundation made one of only two $50,000 grants in its history to support new state air quality rules announced by Governor Hickenlooper in November. These rules are supported by major energy producers, Encana, Anadarko and Noble, along with many environmental organizations. They aggressively target emissions associated with natural gas drilling, and establish groundbreaking curbs on “fugitive” methane leakage while protecting public health and local communities. Because methane is such a potent greenhouse gas the proposed rules, if formalized in their current draft form, would represent groundbreaking and meaningful efforts to slow climate change. These rules would set a precedent for other states, since they are by far the most stringent in the nation. The foundation grant supports the efforts of two groups—Conservation Colorado Education Fund and Western Resource Advocates—to ensure these rules are finalized without modification in February.
“Colorado has the opportunity to lead the nation by developing a regulatory framework that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, ensures more of our natural resources are used, and protects the health of all Coloradans,” said Matthew Hamilton, Executive Director, Environment Foundation. “That’s why the board made this unprecedented grant.”
"It is exciting to see the Environment Foundation make such a significant investment in this extremely important effort to cut climate change pollution and keep Colorado one of the best places to live, work, and play,” says Pete Maysmith, Executive Director for the Conservation Colorado Education Fund.
“This generous grant significantly helps us achieve one of our most important organizational goals of reducing greenhouse gas pollution from all sources,” says John Nielsen, Interim President for Western Resource Advocates.
In total, the Foundation donated more than $103,000 to 10 projects in the fall of 2013. The foundation is funded by donations from Aspen Skiing Company employees and matched in whole or in part by Aspen Community Foundation, the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Coca-Cola. Since its inception the foundation has supported 411 projects with $2.4 million in grants.
Fall 2013 funded projects represent a broad range of environmental issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley:
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies: General Operating Support (ALREADY APPROVED - $7,500 commitment per cycle through 12/31/14) - $7,500
Aspen TREE: Community
Greenhouse Program Support - $3,000
School: install two Sloan Waterfree Urinals - $2,000
Citizens for a Healthy Community: General Operating Support - $10,000
Conservation Colorado Education Fund : Clean Air Campaign: Addressing Climate Impacts of Resource Extraction in Colorado - $35,000
Western Resource Advocates: Clean Air Campaign: Addressing Climate Impacts of Resource Extraction in Colorado - $15,000
Protect Our Winters: Climate Leadership Council Kickoff 2014 - $7,500
Roaring Fork Conservancy: Comprehensive Lower Fryingpan River Assessment - Fryingpan Valley Economic Study - $5,000
Ruedi Water and Power Authority: Mussel Inspection Program - $5,000
USFS - White River National Forest: Wilderness Ranger Internship Program - $5,750
Western Colorado Congress: Oil and Gas Field Justice Project - $7,500
Applications for spring 2014 funding are due March 1, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. Those interested in receiving an application can email Matthew Hamilton at email@example.com.
The employee-funded, -founded and -directed Environment Foundation has awarded almost $2.4 million to 411 diverse local environmental projects since its inception in December 1997. Almost 1,800 employees per year contribute to the foundation directly from their paychecks. For additional information about the Environment Foundation visit theenvironmentfoundation.org.