2019 Leg Session, Amy Oliver Cooke, Energy, Exclusives, Featured, Gold Dome, Politics, Weld County

Cooke: Recall a ‘Just Transition’ for State Rep. Rochelle Galindo

Since the passage of Senate Bill 181, a newly-minted law that will devastate Weld County’s oil and gas industry, our community has been in a furor and understandably so. In the words of one worker, “it’s not what we voted for… everyone’s afraid for their jobs…”

State Representative Rochelle Galindo, D-Greeley (House District 50), defied the well-being and wishes of her constituents by callously voting in favor of this legislation that will destroy our economy, disrupt families, harm our friends and neighbors, and deprive Weld County schools of much needed revenue.

Rep. Rochelle Galindo

When Galindo voted “YES” on SB 181, she explained that she didn’t believe that jobs would be lost. Yet, Galindo’s actions at the state capitol belie her own rhetoric. Earlier this month, she sponsored House Bill 1314, creating the “Office of Just Transition” to retrain “fossil fuel” workers who lose their jobs due to the extreme anti-energy laws that Galindo and her colleagues are forcing upon the people of our state.

To add insult to injury, when presenting the bill on the floor of the State House, Galindo actually called the loss of jobs the result of “market forces,” which is presumably her party’s new catch phrase for government mandates and regulatory bans on fossil fuel development.

Think about that: Greeley and Evans’ own state representative supports destroying our region’s chief economic driver and the thousands of jobs it provides, and yet somehow thinks that it can be remedied by forcing those soon-to-be-unemployed workers into government-run retraining programs. At what cost to our families?

Galindo’s bill is aimed at Colorado coal miners who have already experienced government-guaranteed extinction; coming in short order to oil and gas workers. But it reflects a disturbing, totalitarian way of thinking: that government should have the power to employ us however they desire, rather than allow us our Constitutionally-guaranteed right to pursue the American dream as we wish. It’s cruel.

Although Representative Galindo has only been in office for a few short months, the hard-working people of Greeley, Garden City, and Evans have already had enough, uniting to initiate recall proceedings against her (full disclosure: I actively support this effort in my personal capacity). Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters from our community have correctly surmised that the only way to protect theirs and their families’ future economic security is to take action now, rather than wait for another year of hostile legislation that would inflict more pain on Weld County.

We refuse to take any more economic beatings from people in Boulder and Denver who want to end our way of life. For our own representative to betray us by joining them is unconscionable.

Galindo and her supporters know she is on borrowed time. They have spent the past few weeks attempting to deflect attention away from her legislative record, instead contending that her recall is rooted in bigotry, as she is gay. What hogwash. Our community is too busy working and taking care of our families and each other to worry, or even care about, Galindo’s sexuality.

Further, Democrats have been forced to go outside of Weld County to find support for her. Recently, Denver-area Democrats hosted a support Rochelle postcard writing party to send to HD 50 voters. And now progressive-left Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is begging for dollars to support Galindo.

Put simply, the Boulder Mafia that runs the show at the state capitol thinks that we are little more than a bunch of rubes. By recalling Representative Galindo, we will contradict their bankrupt assumptions and show all of Colorado that we stand proudly in defense of our communities and our families. We deserve a state representative who actually represents us, not Boulder and Denver.

By recalling Representative Galindo, we will secure the representation that we deserve. And for the future of the tens of thousands of Weld County families whose livelihoods depend on oil and gas, we must.

Amy Oliver Cooke is executive vice-president of the Independence Institute, and a Weld County resident.

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