Anti-Fossil Fuel Group’s Pick, Andrew Romanoff, Touts School Investments Backed By Oil And Gas

Anti-Fossil Fuel
Romanoff Wants A Progressive Upset In Colorado's Senate Race.

The Sunrise Movement, an organization opposing fossil fuel development and advocating for the ‘Green New Deal,’ has endorsed Andrew Romanoff over former Gov. John Hickenlooper in the Colorado Senate Democratic primary.

This move may create tension due to Romanoff’s continued support for fossil fuels in the context of education investment and state construction.

Western Wire’s analysis suggests that the Sunrise Movement considers Hickenlooper too “dangerous” on climate issues to compete against Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

Romanoff, in his campaign, highlighted collaboration with former Republican Gov. Bill Owens to devise a plan for the state’s recovery from the recession, emphasizing its impact on schools. This information is available on Romanoff’s campaign website.

“He crafted an economic recovery plan to put thousands of Coloradans back to work, built a bipartisan coalition to pass it, and secured the largest investment in school construction in state history,” Romanoff’s site proclaims.

In 2010, Andrew Romanoff emphasized the education funding disparity between Denver and rural areas, which he addressed by supporting the BEST Act (Building Excellent Schools Today Act).

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This legislation utilized trust money and lottery revenue to enhance spending on education. Notably, around 80% of the trust fund Romanoff relied on for funding is derived from oil and gas revenues, as highlighted in a Colorado State Land Board video.

This video explains that the State Land Board, tasked with generating revenue for Colorado school children, heavily depends on oil and gas income, amounting to nearly $1 billion over the past decade.

The funds primarily contribute to the BEST program, with a focus on rural school construction, addressing the financial challenges faced by these schools due to their smaller tax bases compared to their urban counterparts.

A recent report from the Common Sense Policy Roundtable has highlighted the potential loss of revenue for educational investment if policies limiting oil and gas production are implemented in communities along Colorado’s Front Range, including some of its major municipalities. The estimated impact ranges between $822 million and $1.1 billion in additional revenues over the next decade, should such policies be enacted.

This Senate race is not Andrew Romanoff’s first attempt, as he previously ran for the Senate in 2010. In that election, he challenged U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who had been appointed to complete the term of former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar. Salazar had moved on to serve as the Secretary of the Interior during President Barack Obama’s first term.

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