Following major climate legislation enacted by the Colorado General Assembly in 2019, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission began moving toward the legislature’s goal of aggressive Greenhouse Gas emission reductions. At its annual strategic planning retreat the Commission laid out an upcoming schedule that will begin the process of gathering data, formulating cost-effective reduction measures, and establishing a regulatory framework to accomplish the far-reaching legislative targets of 80% GHG emissions reduction statewide by 2030 and 90% by 2050.
The July meeting will provide a briefing for the Commission on all four major climate bills. In October they will hear from “Climate Experts” on cost effective strategies for reductions. The Division staff will make a request at the February Commission meeting to set a hearing in May for regulatory measures. Of course, the substance of those measures is unknown at present. Both Commission and staff acknowledge that this is a very ambitious effort; the Commission is hiring seven new employees to form a climate unit – five will be technical staff and two will serve as coordinators with other state agencies and community members. Several local governments in Colorado have committee to 100% renewable energy with significant GHG reductions. Efforts will be made to coordinate their efforts with the State.
Legislative Interim Committees are also getting underway with meetings commencing in late July and extending through October-November. These committees will recommend legislation to be considered in the 2020 legislative session which convenes January 8. Among committees CMA will be watching closely are the Energy Legislation Review Committee, the Tax Expenditures Review Committee, and the Investor Owned Utilities Committee. In addition, numerous other committees will be meeting as well which will be reported on from time to time. Stay tuned!