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Leanne Wheeler headshot

Leanne Wheeler

Leanne Wheeler headshot

Leanne Wheeler

City Council - At Large

Survey Score: 90%


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Colorado Rising
Aurora Candidates Candidate Score Card


Q:

Will you commit to refusing campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies?

A:

Yes

Q:

Do you agree that the continued proliferation of oil and gas extraction is a major contributor to the climate crisis?

A:

Yes

Q:

Do you pledge to support/advance policies that protect communities from the cumulative impacts of climate change?

A:

Yes

Q:

If you answered "Yes" to the above question, how will you protect communities?

A:

What we see in Aurora is new development into areas where NGO already exists. We have an opportunity to tee up this discussion at the Site Planning phase for development. For those communities without the benefit of knowing of their proximity to existing NGO, we must center our neighbors in the discussion. No matter the industry, we must stop waiving our right (as a representative government) to reconsider contracts negotiated on our behalf.

Q:

Do you support state Senate Bill 19-181 which grants local governments authority over oil & gas operations within their jurisdiction?

A:

Yes

Q:

Do you believe that local governments should have the right to enact bans or moratoria on fracking to safeguard residents from the inherent dangers associated with oil & gas development?

A:

Yes

A:

We have two opportunities to influence extraction in Aurora; the first is to ensure that at the Site Planning phase, the developer is forthright about minerals/mineral rights/and plans to extract; information that MUST be passed on to potential homebuyers. Where there are existing developments, and plans to extract are in place, the City must be prepared for potential lawsuits (Takings). There are plans for a future housing development where the current Aurora Council recently authorized up to 319 to be drilled. As the Project Manager for a 50-unit supportive housing development, we were required to pay for the necessary studies with regard to mineral rights. Not a popular stance, but we must stop putting housing where we know there is NGO. Conversely, we must be prepared for lawsuits where Takings becomes an issue, in established neighborhoods/housing subdivisions.

Q:

Did you support Proposition 112, which aimed to create 2500 foot setbacks for homes, schools, hospitals, parks, playgrounds and water sources from all new oil & gas operations?

A:

Yes

Q:

If you answered "no" to the above, why not?

A:

I voted yes. It is important to note that every one of the structures listed, were developments that had to propose a Site Plan, when the NGO discussion should have transpired. By not having this discussion earlier in development, the work gets exponentially harder for local municipalities. We could literally refuse to allow developments in areas where NGO exists. In particular, now that municipalities have local control.

Q:

Do you agree that the COGCC should pause all new permits for oil & gas development until the new rule-making process is complete and an independent cumulative impact study has been done?

A:

Yes

Q:

Will you advocate for state agencies and the oil and gas industry to abide by the precautionary principle in order to protect Colorado’s air, water, and public health?

A:

Yes

Q:

What are your specific plans to reduce the threat of climate change once you get into office?

A:

Aurora has significant first-mile/last-mile travel issues. The majority of us travel by car. We've got to figure out how to get more cars off the road. I'm already standing up an initiative concerning land and water conservation, and bringing Veterans into that discussion. Whether I am elected or not, that work is happening. Lastly, I'm dialed in on our development processes and the way we manage new growth, where NGO exists.

Q:

What will you do to attract other environmentally friendly industries such as hemp, solar, wind, geothermal?

A:

It's imperative that NREL share what opportunities are in the pipeline. We also have to educate and prepare the masses to make the transition. That work is sorely underserved. Frankly, we need to look at the ENTIRE way we do work life. Right now, the most significant pull on energy is Monday - Friday, from 8A-5P. We are all firing up our computers, printers, manufacturing equipment, the lights, coffee machines. Before we go, we are burning gas. After we go, we are burning gas. We have to change our behaviors, even as we bring on alternative energy sources. There is a great deal of focus on storing energy, and the distribution of that energy, in a predictable way. The science of it all is pretty slick and sexy. But, our "Herbie" - we can only move as fast as our slowest person - is US. Will We, the People, tolerate changes to work and school schedules, and the lights taking a few more milliseconds to turn on? Once we're ready, I'm convinced that it is WAY doable.