Click here to see a web copy of this email

House GOP Newsletter  
November 17, 2014  Like

♦A message from House Minority Leader DelGrosso and new member introductions  

♦Featured Oped by Rep. Joshi   ♦Tweets of the Week  ♦ In the News

Caucus Leadership and New Member Introductions

We are about six weeks away from the start of the first session of Colorado's 70th General Assembly and I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce our newest GOP members and announce our caucus leaders. I was honored to be re-elected caucus leader, and I want to congratulate Representatives Libby Szabo, Polly Lawrence and Lois Landgraf on their leadership elections. 

Republicans made gains nationwide and here locally, winning back three seats held by Democrats and by a margin of less than 700 votes, narrowly missed taking the majority in the House. We have 14 new members that will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Colorado legislature. We will post our new members' biographies on our website in the coming weeks, but here's a brief introduction of our 14 new Republican House Representatives and the other caucus leaders for the 2015 session. 


Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) 

House Minority Leader 

Other House GOP Leadership

Representative Libby Szabo - Arvada (HD 27)

Assistant House Minority Leader

Representative Polly Lawrence - Littleton (HD 39) 

House Minority Whip

Representative Lois Landgraf - Fountain (HD 21)

House Minority Caucus Chair

New House GOP Members

Representative-elect Jon Becker

Fort Morgan (HD 65)

Representative-elect J. Paul Brown

Ignacio (HD 59)

Representative-elect Terri Carver

Colorado Springs (HD 20)

Representative-elect Jon Keyser

Morrison (HD 25)

Representative-elect Gordon Klingenschmitt -

Colorado Springs (HD 15)

Representative-elect Paul Lundeen

Monument (HD 19)

Representative-elect Patrick Neville

Castle Rock (HD 45)

Representative-elect Kim Ransom

Littleton (HD 44)

Representative-elect Kit Roupe

Colorado Springs (HD 17)

Representative-elect Jack Tate

Centennial (HD 37)

Representative-elect Dan Thurlow

Grand Junction (HD 55)

Representative-elect Kevin Van Winkle

Highlands Ranch (HD 43)

Representative-elect Yeulin Willett

Grand Junction (HD 54)

Representative-elect JoAnn Windholz

Commerce City (HD 30)

House Press Releases

Featured Oped

State Representative Janak Joshi

Ranking Member of the House Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee

October 30, 2014

Don't Lower The Scientific Bar on Oil & Gas Studies

The debate over oil and gas development can be emotional, tense and heated. After all, we're talking about the health of our children and our communities, about our economy, and our future. But much like the tense debate over climate change, or even genetically modified foods, it's essential to look to science for answers whenever possible, and to discard breathless speculation and scare tactics - they are, in fact, the antithesis of science.

So it was with dismay that I read The Denver Post's Sunday story headlined "Dead babies near oil drilling sites raise questions for researchers." Instead of using science, the story used only speculation to link the tragic death of babies to oil and gas drilling in Vernal, Utah.

Despite the fact Utah health officials have not found an increase in infant mortality in the area, much less a connection to oil and gas drilling, the story quotes a Missouri researcher who "suspects" there is a link and an anesthesiologist who states "drilling is a contributing factor." The readers were never told that the researcher's prior work on a related subject suffered from a fundamental flaw (she linked fracking to hormone disruption but never identified the fracking chemicals in the tested water)

and the anesthesiologist is head of an advocacy group opposed to oil and gas drilling. Those are important points that better inform your readers so they can make better informed decisions.

Toward the very end of the story, we do get some facts but they're somewhat glossed over. Uintah County, where Vernal resides, is 24th out of 27 Utah counties in health rankings, and many pregnant women do not get good prenatal care. Residents also have twice as many smokers as the rest of the state and more residents who drink heavily. Maternal smoking and drinking have been scientifically proven to increase the risk of infant deaths. 

But that is no matter. The story's premise hangs on a midwife whose scientific research is based on collecting obituaries and determining an upward trend in infant deaths by comparing the number of deaths to overall burials each year. Infant mortality is typically determined by deaths per 1,000 live births each year, not the total number of deaths of community members.

Infant mortality rates and their causes are serious concerns that should be addressed by trained and experienced scientists, not explained by arm-chair advocates, flawed researchers and reporters driven by attention-grabbing stories.

I hope those Coloradans who read this story do not let fear trump science. We're fortunate in Colorado that we have some of the toughest rules and regulations governing oil and gas in the country, yet we're able to harvest our natural resources in an efficient and effective manner while protecting communities and individuals. The state's top medical official, Dr. Larry Wolk, has said that Colorado's emissions standards are "the most stringent in the country when it comes to protecting public health and the environment." 

In April, Wolk looked into rumors concerning fetal impacts from energy development and a state study concluded oil and gas development did not contribute to a spike in birth defects in Garfield County.

It's important to study these health issues when they arise, and to let science – not fear – guide our discussions and our work.

Let Utah and Colorado health officials do their work. Screaming headlines about "dead babies" when there are no facts supporting the claim don't help. In fact, scaring the public does not help educate, nor protect, the public. 

 Tweets of the Week  

Justin Everett

Justin Everett @Everett4Colo

To all the men and women who served...thank you!

Frank McNulty

Frank McNulty @RepMcNulty

Congratulations to @SenBillCadman on his designation as the next Colorado state Senate President. An honor well earned! #copolitics #coleg

Bob Rankin

Bob Rankin @votebobrankin

Election Update, Looking Ahead...and Thank-You Under the Dome for November Thank you once again for the honor of...

In the News

Click here to forward this email to a friend Click here to unsubscribe from all lists

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign