Effort to force Colorado to cut greenhouse emissions faster exposes exasperation with Polis administration
“I am highly frustrated where we are now,” Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat, said.
For more than a year, frustrated Colorado lawmakers and environmental groups have struggled to push the Polis administration to move faster to meet mandated cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Now they are advancing a bill to set emission caps and deadlines — over the objections of the governor.
The Senate Transportation and Energy Committee moved Senate Bill 200, which includes the caps and a one-year deadline to get them into rules, on to the finance committee on a 4-3 vote Tuesday, with all Democratic legislators supporting the measure and all Republicans opposing it.
The legislation was opposed by mining companies, the oil and gas sector, the state’s largest utilities and by the Polis administration.
Supporters of the bill are concerned that the administration’s approach of enacting individual emission rules will not be enough to implement the 2019 legislation, House Bill 1261, that requires cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over 2005 levels of 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.
“I am highly frustrated where we are now,” said Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat. “Let’s say we’re going to figure it out and do it. Or let’s stop saying we’re going to do it.”
The current bill sets greenhouse gas emission caps for key economic sectors, such as transportation, utilities, and oil and gas, and made March 1, 2022, the deadline to place those caps in new state rules.
It would also levy new fees on industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, and raise the commitment to environmental justice by including adversely impacted communities in rule making and by creating an environmental justice ombudsman.
The lighting rod in the hearing was the rule-making deadline for the Air Quality Control Commission and the caps for economic activities.
To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.
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