Gearing up for Greenhouse Gas Reductions in Colorado

By May 28, 2020 Oil & Gas

Last winter, Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC)  voted unanimously to adopt new emissions rules for the oil and gas industry. Now, the AQCC is working with the Energy Office to implement the greenhouse gas reduction goals in House Bill 1261, passed in 2019.

HB-1261 mandates economy-wide greenhouse gas reductions to help combat climate change, reduce pollution in Colorado communities and prioritize health and safety. The bill directs greenhouse gas reductions from 2005 levels of:

  • 26% by 2025
  • 50% by 2030
  • 90% by 2050

In order to meet these goals, the AQCC will determine new rules and regulations that curtail greenhouse gases. They will also identify disproportionately impacted communities, and the Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) will solicit input on statewide greenhouse gas mitigation from those most impacted by climate change. The APCD will also report to the Colorado Legislature every two years on this process

What do we want?

This summer, a report will be released detailing policies that can best help reach state goals. Until then, we need our state leaders to know that we want them to:

Cut carbon emissions in the electric sector at least 80% by 2030 from 2005 levels.

When it comes to greenhouse gas reductions, the electric sector not only the key to achieving statewide goals- it’s also low-hanging fruit. Coal is no longer the economic energy choice, and it’s time to replace old, expensive coal plants with affordable renewable energy and storage. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has said we need the electric sector to reduce emissions at least 80% by 2030 to meet climate goals. Clean electricity will also help clean up other parts of the economy, like buildings and transportation through beneficial electrification

Properly account for pollution coming from oil and gas drilling in Colorado communities.

Oil and gas extraction is a major contributor to greenhouse gas pollution, especially methane, in Colorado. If we want to really make progress on emissions reductions goals, we must have a full understanding of the oil and gas industry’s climate footprint so the AQCC can develop the most effective suite of protections to achieve Colorado’s climate goals. It’s critical that the impact of the oil and gas industry isn’t underestimated,  and as such we need a top-down assessment of greenhouse gases to ensure that Colorado’s inventory is correct.

What can I do?

There will be opportunities for public comments as this rulemaking progresses. But right now, you can make a difference and fight for a cleaner Colorado by sending an email to the AQCC and tell them why YOU support a strong methane rule that prioritizes public health and Colorado communities.

Take action today by emailing cdphe.aqcc-comments@state.co.us and telling your story.

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