Western Resource Advocates protects the West’s land, air and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance with nature. We work in seven western states including: Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana.
WRA is excited to partner with Jet-Set Offset – and conscientious donors like you! Our work is across four program areas: Healthy Rivers, Clean Energy, Western Lands and Air Quality. Your donation is such a vital part of protecting the future of the West’s most valuable resources.
A number of national climate leaders have hailed 2019 as the most successful year ever for advancing climate and clean energy policy in the West. These victories were possible because of numerous and important collaborations, but we also believe that WRA played a unique role in each—made possible by donors like you. Below are a few highlights that demonstrate the impact that your donation can make on legislation and action taken for a more sustainable, carbon free future of the West.
New Mexico’s Energy Transition Act
WRA was instrumental in developing and securing the passage of the New Mexico Energy Transition Act, which was signed into law in March of 2019. The law is one of the strongest clean energy statutes in the United States, requiring that 50 percent of the state’s electricity be generated by renewable energy by 2030 and that the state’s electricity be 100 percent carbon-free by 2045. The law will help address the causes of climate change and create jobs and economic opportunity for the state, while also providing a financial path to close the remaining coal units at the San Juan Generating Station and dedicating $40 million in economic assistance to the Four Corners region most profoundly impacted by the closure.
Colorado’s Climate Action Plan
Colorado House Bill 1261, the Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution, was signed into law in May and makes Colorado the first fossil fuel producing state, other than California, to establish economy-wide carbon emission reductions targets. The new law sets an economy-wide goal for Colorado to reduce overall greenhouse gas pollution 50 percent by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050, compared with 2005 levels. The legislation also empowers the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission and the state Department of Public Health and Environment to develop enforceable rules consistent with these goals.
Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River Basin
WRA has been involved in the drought planning process for the Colorado River from the very beginning. And in March of 2019, with the investment of many years of hard work and collaboration between states, cities, tribes, businesses, environmental groups, and others, Congress signed into law a Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). The agreement between all seven Colorado River Basin states outlines how all of the states will voluntarily share water to prevent Lake Mead from falling to critically low levels and to ensure water continues to reach users in the Lower Basin
The Closure of Utah’s Last Coal-Fired Power Plant
As part of a state-level effort to bring air quality along the Wasatch Front in line with federal health standards, WRA was instrumental in convincing the Utah Air Quality Board that the Clean Air Act requires Kennecott Utah Copper to stop year-round burning at its Salt Lake Valley power plant. The board’s decision to side with WRA led to Kennecott’s decision to forego burning coal in favor of clean renewable energy. The early retirement of the 57-year-old plant in Utah’s densely-populated Wasatch Front will shrink the company’s carbon footprint by as much as 65 percent.
Bears Ears & Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments
In 2018, President Donald Trump unlawfully cut large portions of protected land from Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments, opening them up to mining, oil and gas leases, and increased off-road vehicle use. WRA and a coalition of partners filed comments on the draft management plans for the portions of the monuments that remain, highlighting the failure of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to protect the areas’ priceless biodiversity, breathtaking geology, historical and cultural artifacts, and world-renowned recreational opportunities.