120820-cp-web-oped-cseditorial-1

The Air Force Space Command is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Gov. Jared Polis is calling for the Biden administration to reconsider U.S. Space Command’s impending move away from Colorado Springs and to keep the Bureau of Land Management headquartered in Grand Junction.

Polis, Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the decision to relocate U.S. Space Command to Huntsville, Ala., could “undermine our country’s ability to respond to national security threats in space” if allowed to continue without review.

In former President Donald Trump’s waning days in office, his administration selected Redstone Arsenal, an Army installation in Huntsville, over five other finalists to serve as Space Command's new home base. Among those finalists was Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, which has served as the command’s headquarters since it was reestablished in 2019, and before that from 1985 to 2002. 

The Colorado Springs base is set to continue to serve as Space Command’s headquarters through 2026 but Polis, Primavera, Suthers and the coalition cited concerns over “transparency, impartiality, and bias” in the decision to relocate the command to Alabama.

“There is evidence that President Trump’s political considerations influenced the timing and final decision,” the group wrote in its letter to Austin. “This decision and this process cannot stand unreviewed without the risk of stain on this new administration.”

Polis also knocked the ”challenges and missteps” taken by the Trump administration in relocating the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters to Grand Junction, but said in a separate letter to President Joe Biden the federal agency should remain in Colorado.

“This move was done not without challenges and missteps by the prior administration,” Polis said in the letter. “While some argue that the flawed implementation was disruptive to the BLM workforce, reversing this move now would only lead to further disruption and waste taxpayer funds, have damaging impacts to local communities in Colorado, and would hurt and displace the over 100 employees and families who now call Colorado home.”

The Trump administration’s decision to move BLM away from Washington drew criticism from some who said the move was intended to weaken the agency. Biden declined to comment on a potential move back to Washington while on the campaign trail.

Polis’ letter comes after Colorado’s federal Senate delegation and Republican House members also sent letters to Biden urging him to keep BLM headquartered in Grand Junction.

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