The Hanlon Climate Plan

Download the plan

“Climate change should not be a divisive or partisan issue. Scientists, economic experts and defense officials from virtually every nation on Earth are in wide agreement that climate change due to a warming planet is among the gravest threats we face. Here in the United States, climate change is a national security emergency, a threat to our economic vitality and, here in Colorado’s third district, a very real and present danger to our way of life. It’s time Colorado’s Third District had a member of Congress who not only believes in climate change but will do something about it.”

-Karl Hanlon

I am proud to offer the Hanlon Climate Plan, the second in a series of concrete policy plans that I intend to begin work on the day I’m sworn in to office. In Congress, I will be a tireless champion for advancing proactive policies to combat climate change and protect the outdoor recreation industry, which generates an estimated $2.2 billion dollars in annual spending here in the Third Congressional District and is a central piece of our regional identity. Winters like this, where snowpack was below 40% in some areas, can be devastating to our local economy and, beyond Colorado, presents a very real threat to our national security. We can not afford more inaction.  I look forward to advancing this important policy discussion and hearing from people in our communities about their thoughts and feelings. As I like to say on the campaign trail, let’s get to work.


The United States is the only nation on earth that is not a part of the Paris Climate Agreement. That is unacceptable.  I will stand up to anyone, even a President if I have to, who jeopardizes America’s vital global leadership role when it comes to addressing climate change through real, data driven, tangible and actionable measures. American deserves better than this and I will work in a bipartisan way to demonstrate to Donald Trump that we demand more.


Congress should be about debating real ideas, not playing politics. In this case, it should be about bold ideas and action. The sooner Republicans can agree with Democrats and virtually every expert in the world that climate change is a real and present danger, the sooner we can get to work not only drafting impactful legislation, but implementing it. The Department of Energy’s own National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says that we as a nation can achieve 80% renewables by 2050. I believe the United States should restore its leadership role on this issue and codify this ambitious goal. There is federal funding, as laid out below, that should be reallocated to research and encouraging green energy development, creating the jobs of the future while cutting America’s carbon footprint. We can do this.


80% of Colorado’s public lands are in the 3rd Congressional District. They are the heart of our regional identity, as well as one of our principal economic drivers. A diverse array of constituencies rely on these lands for their livelihoods: from ranchers, to outfitters to the multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation economy. With Donald Trump and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke pursuing an aggressive, anti-preservation agenda, our lands are desperate for an advocate in Washington who will hold them accountable. Tipton clearly isn’t it. There are several broadly supported bills languishing in Congress that would enhance protections for our lands here in Colorado and support our National Parks system– The San Juan Wilderness Act, The Continental Divide Bill, and The National Park Service Legacy Act— that Tipton refuses to support. In contrast, I look forward to being able to support such proposals as a Member of Congress.


We must end federal subsidies for oil and gas companies. Big oil already generates enough profits and it is past time to end corporate welfare for these companies, particularly those that take advantage of our public lands or pollute our fragile environment and ecosystems. It’s shameful that middle class families are being squeezed by the Trump Tax Plan, while highly profitable multi-national corporations are receiving federal subsidies. In Congress, I’ll protect the energy jobs that are currently here in Colorado but will put my foot down when it comes to further pillaging of our lands, particularly when it comes to federally subsidized oil companies. We should be investing money in clean energy, not lining the pockets of a handful of already wealthy companies.


There can no question: renewable, clean, green energy is our future and a key area for continued economic development and job creation. In Congress, I will work to find opportunities to expand support for green energy development and create good paying jobs here in western and southern Colorado in the form of solar, wind and hydro energy, among others. The oil and gas industry have enjoyed federal subsidies for generations, we should be aggressively exploring tax credits and other incentives to support the growing green economy.


Our current Congressman, Scott Tipton, is enabling Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt’s planned repeal of the Obama Clean Power Plan. This groundbreaking policy was intended to phase out dirty fossil fuels and encourage further development of renewable fuels. In Congress, I will stand up to Donald Trump and work across the aisle to make sure we are taking steps forward, not backward, when it comes to protecting our environment.


I have been a vocal supporter of President Obama’s work to raise automotive emissions standards. While Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt’s EPA continues to roll back progressive environmental policies at an alarming rate, I will be a reliable voice in Congress to fight back and not only keep these goals in place but expand on them.

Early in his first term, President Obama worked alongside the auto industry here in the United States to lay out aggressive fuel economy goals, joining many other developed nations who have pursued similar policies. By 2021, the plan called for new automobiles to achieve 44.7 miles per gallon. The plan went further by calling for 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025. We must keep these goals in place and, when possible, look to do more.