Colorado Legislature Sends Historic Climate Legislation to Governor’s Desk
Do you think that other state legislatures should join Colorado in taking meaningful action on climate change?
by Environmental Defense Fund | 5.2.19
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The Colorado General Assembly took a historic step to protect all Coloradans from dangerous climate pollution late last night with the final passage of House Bill 19-1261.
The legislation passed the Colorado Senate by a vote of 18-to-16 yesterday. The Colorado House of Representatives had passed the measure by an overwhelming 41-to-23 vote on April 16. Then at about 10:30 Mountain Time last night the House concurred with Senate amendments. The bill now goes to Governor Jared Polis for signature.
“At the time when it’s more critical than ever for states to step up, the Colorado legislature has hit the mark – true leadership on climate means securing science-based reductions in climate pollution,” said EDF senior director of climate regulatory strategy Pam Kiely. “Climate change is an urgent threat to Colorado, and this legislation will help us protect public health and our environment while also positioning Colorado families to capture the economic benefits of a clean energy economy.”
House Bill 19-1261 establishes rigorous Colorado climate pollution reduction goals anchored in science and provides for the development of cost-effective solutions to achieve these pollution cuts. It was passed by the General Assembly under the leadership of House Speaker KC Becker, Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, Representative Dominique Jackson, Senator Faith Winter and Senator Angela Williams.
Colorado faces severe threats from climate change, including intensifying and more frequent wildfires, worsening summer smog that causes asthma attacks and other serious health problems, catastrophic flooding, and prolonged drought that threatens our farmers and our national and state parks.
The common sense measure just passed by the General Assembly provides for Colorado to cut climate pollution by at least 26 percent by 2025, 50 percent by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050 (relative to 2005 pollution levels). It directs the Air Quality Commission to take cost-effective action to achieve these reductions and to protect the health and well-being of all Coloradans from climate pollution.
Colorado has a strong foundation to achieve these vital climate pollution reduction goals:
- Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest power provider, committed to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2030 and to eliminate all carbon pollution from its power generation for Colorado by 2050.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment recently adopted clean car standards that will save Coloradans hundreds of dollars at the gas pump annually and reduce dangerous climate and smog pollution.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment has also required Colorado’s oil and gas industry to achieve reductions in dangerous methane pollution. Those reductions will also reduce the unnecessary waste of Colorado’s oil and gas resources. Under new legislation the department will work to modernize these important pollution limits to protect public health and the environment based on advances in technologies and common sense clean air solutions.
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