Lynne would support Jordan Cove if elected

Donna Lynne

Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne would maintain her boss’ support for the Jordan Cove project in Oregon while working to bridge the urban-rural divide, should she be elected to succeed Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Lynne would “absolutely” continue the support Hickenlooper has had for the Jordan Cove project, which would take natural gas from the Piceance Basin of northwest Colorado by pipeline to Coos Bay to be liquefied and shipped to markets in Asia.

Hickenlooper “has always said that when it comes to oil and gas, it’s really important to recognize that Colorado is an extraction state” that depends on development for jobs, Lynne said.

Hickenlooper in 2016 appointed Lynne, a health insurance executive, as lieutenant governor and the state’s first chief operating officer in 2016.

She announced this week that she was exploring a bid for the Democrat nomination to succeed Hickenlooper, who is term-limited.

Her health care background — she was most recently president of the Colorado region for Kaiser Permanente — makes her “uniquely equipped” to deal with health insurance and related matters “no matter what’s happening in Washington,” Lynne said in a telephone interview with The Daily Sentinel.

While she was most recently in the private sector, Lynne also worked 20 years in the New York City government, where her work was nonpartisan. She also has served on several boards and commissions in Colorado and also served as the board chair of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“Most of my experience in government has been in a nonpolitical environment,” Lynne said.

Her administration would be “accountable, transparent with a focus on customer service,” Lynne said.

Regarding the recent case of Nathan Dunlap, Hickenlooper went through a “rigorous process” that led him to issue a temporary reprieve from a jury-imposed death penalty in the killings of four people, Lynne noted. Colorado has three other prisoners on death row.

As governor with the ability to commute death sentences, “I would honestly have to get in the same place” as Hickenlooper if confronted with the same decision, Lynne said.

As governor, she would emphasize work on the state’s water plan to tackle specifics and deal with Western Slope legislators to determine what steps need to be taken.

Front Range residents consume most of the state’s water, and perhaps don’t grasp how significant, and limited, a resource it is.

Her own water runs $19 a month, Lynne said.

“Nineteen dollars doesn’t signal a scarce resource and we have to think about that,” Lynne said.


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