GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap

Colorado Mountain and Lake in Fall Time

On September 30, 2020, Colorado released a public comment draft of its Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap which details early action steps the state can take toward meeting the near-term goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution 26% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels. The state is seeking comment on additional action steps to reduce GHG pollution and reap the full benefits of swiftly and equitably transitioning to a clean energy economy. Comments are due by 5:00 p.m. MT on November 1, 2020. You may submit them via this web form or by emailing climatechange@state.co.us

The state hosted a public listening session on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. State leadership gave an overview of the Roadmap report and state climate equity work with time dedicated to listening to questions and input. You can access the presentation here.

Findings show that meeting the 2025 and 2030 goals is achievable with existing cost effective technologies, but progressing toward these goals will require additional policies beyond the actions the state has taken already. The preliminary results show that Colorado will need to:

  • Continue the transition to renewable energy 
  • Significantly expand adoption of electric cars, trucks and buses
  • Change transportation and land use planning to reduce the need to drive
  • Expand building efficiency efforts and electrification of buildings
  • Significantly reduce methane pollution from oil and natural gas production

Governor Polis is acting to address the climate crisis through a bold vision to get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and meet the science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution 50% by 2030 and 90% below 2005 levels by 2050 established in House Bill 19-1261.

Under the direction of the Governor’s Climate Cabinet, several state agencies - including the Colorado Energy Office, Department of Public Health and Environment, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture - are developing a GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap (Roadmap) of actions that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The Roadmap will establish the 2005 greenhouse gas pollution baseline. The Roadmap also will assess the effects of recent legislative and administrative policy changes, including 14 bills the General Assembly passed in 2019 on meeting the state’s GHG pollution targets. Finally, the Roadmap will evaluate additional pathways to ensure timely progress toward the state's GHG pollution reduction goals. The state has hired Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) to help develop the Roadmap.

The state hosted a public listening session on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. State leadership gave an overview of the Roadmap report and state climate equity work with time dedicated to listening to questions and input. You can access the presentation here.

On-going

We encourage you to share your feedback on the Roadmap report and policies or actions that can help Colorado meet our GHG pollution reduction goals. Please use the following web form to submit your comments or send them via email to climatechange@state.co.us. You can also download this document about the Roadmap and share it with your network. 

Throughout the Roadmap process we have received comments and feedback from interested individuals and groups. Comments from stakeholder groups are available here. Individual public comments are not available currently. 

We compiled responses to frequently asked questions about the Roadmap. We are actively implementing a Stakeholder Outreach Plan in order to engage citizens and stakeholders. As part of that plan, we formed a Technical Advisory Group comprised of technical experts who are providing input to the State team on the study assumptions, results, and report.

Air Quality Control Commission Stakeholder Processes

To learn how to participate in the Air Quality Control Commission’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Emission Reduction Requirement rulemaking, visit the Commission’s website at www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/aqcc. Stay updated on the Air Quality Control Commission’s process and opportunities for input by emailing cdphe.aqcc-comments@state.co.us (Subject: Email Distribution List).

August 2020

The State hosted a public listening session on August 12. The State provided an overview of the Roadmap and state climate equity work with time dedicated for public comment and answering questions.

July 2020

CEO presented to the Board of Directors of the Denver Regional Council of Governments on July 1 and to the Colorado Chamber of Commerce Energy & Environmental Council on July 17. We also held a Roadmap Business Briefing for Ceres network members on July 21. 

June 2020

CEO, CDA and CDPHE presented the GHG Reduction Roadmap process to Colorado's agricultural commodity and advocacy groups on June 4, 2020. Discussion centered around opportunities for farmers and ranchers to volunteer to employ conservation inputs that improve production, energy efficiency, water quality, and reduce greenhouse gases. We also hosted Roadmap presentations for the Metro Mayors Caucus, Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Counties, Inc., and Counties and Commissioners Acting Together on June 17 and 18.

May 2020

On May 11, CEO in partnership with the Climate Unit at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, presented an update of the Roadmap and the rulemaking process for Regulation 22 at the Public Utilities Commission.

April 2020

E3, joined by CEO and CDPHE, gave a presentation on the Roadmap at a public meeting of the The Air Quality Control Commission. The presentation provided an update on the inventory analysis and discussed scenarios for the greenhouse gas emissions reduction needed to meet the state’s goals. There was an opportunity to provide comments on potential mitigation strategies. CDPHE Staff presented plans to identify and engage communities disproportionately impacted by climate change.

See the Air Quality Control Commission website for additional information. 

March 2020

The State's Roadmap team and E3 convened the first meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), a cohort of individuals from industry and the academic and scientific communities who possess specialized technical expertise in key areas that will be evaluated as part of the Roadmap study. The TAG will review and provide valuable input to the Roadmap team on the study's modeling assumptions, mitigation scenarios, and results on an ongoing basis.

February 2020

The Air Quality Control Commission hosted a public meeting that included an update on the Roadmap process. While this presentation primarily focused on the inventory analysis that has taken place, there will be future public meetings and engagement opportunities to more directly weigh in on potential mitigation pathways. The Commission will be taking steps to hear more from communities impacted by climate change.

See the Air Quality Control Commission website for additional information. 

January 2020

As part of implementing Colorado’s laws to track and report GHG pollution (SB19-96 and HB19-1261), the Air Pollution Control Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) held public meetings on January 16, 2020 and January 17, 2020 to gather stakeholder input to inform draft rules. CDPHE also gathered input from representatives of impacted communities, industry groups, environmental groups, local governments, utilities and other states through January 27, 2020.
 

The Administration is currently implementing a number of bills signed into law in 2019 that will support continued progress toward GHG emission reduction targets. In the 2020 session, the Administration is pursuing additional legislative efforts such as promotion of beneficial electrification and emissions reductions, and energy efficiency in buildings.     

2020 Legislative Priorities

  • Building electrification
  • Benchmarking large building energy use
  • Direct sales of electric vehicles

2019 Legislative Summary

The 2019 legislative session was very active on clean energy and climate. The following list provides brief summaries of the bills that are most relevant to  achieving the state’s GHG emission goals. State agencies have been very active in implementation of these bills, as well as engaging in regulatory proceedings at the Air Quality Control Commission, Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Public Utility Commission that have flowed from this legislation.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Requires the Air Quality Control Commission to collect greenhouse gas emissions data from greenhouse gas-emitting entities, report on the data including a forecast of future emissions.

Sets Colorado statewide goals to reduce 2025 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26%, 2030 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% and 2050 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% of the levels of greenhouse gas emissions that existed in 2005. Specifies that Air Quality Control Commission will take into account in implementing policies and promulgating rules to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, including the benefits of compliance and the equitable distribution of those benefits, the costs of compliance, opportunities to incentivize clean energy in transitioning communities, and the potential to enhance the resilience of Colorado's communities and natural resources to climate impacts.

Utility and Oil & Gas Policy

Protects public safety, health, welfare and the environment in the regulation of the oil and gas industry by modifying the oil and gas statute and clarifying, reinforcing and establishing local governments' regulatory authority over the surface impacts of oil and gas development. Directs the Air Quality Control Commission to review its leak detection and repair rules and to adopt rules to minimize emissions of methane and other hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen.

- Directs Xcel Energy to submit a plan for PUC approval that will achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 and lays out criteria for approval; create a securitization bonding mechanism to reduce the costs associated with early plant retirement; and creates an opportunity to fund workforce and community transition.

- Directs the PUC to evaluate the cost of carbon dioxide emissions in certain proceedings (resource planning, energy efficiency planning, beneficial and transportation electrification, renewable energy standard) promulgate rules to require those public utilities, when submitting filings, to include the cost of carbon dioxide emissions related to the evaluation of electric generation resources.Starting in 2020, the PUC is required to establish a base cost of carbon dioxide emissions in an amount not less than $46 a ton and shall modify the cost thereafter based on escalation rates established by a federal interagency working group.

- Directs the PUC to promulgate rules requiring generation and transmission utilities to submit resource plans to the PUC for approval.

Increases the maximum size of a community solar garden (CSG) from 2 megawatts to 5 megawatts. Removes requirement that a CSG subscriber's identified physical location be in the same county as, or a county adjacent to, that of the CSG, while retaining the requirement that it be within the service territory of the same electric utility.

  • House Bill 19-1272 – Housing Authority Property In Colorado New Energy Improvement District

Clarifies housing authority participation in Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), a program administered by the Colorado New Energy Improvement District (NEID), through which an owner of eligible property, including residential properties having at least five dwelling units, may finance energy improvements.

Creates the Just Transition Office in the Division of Employment and Training in the Department of Labor and Employment. Requires an electric utility that proposes to retire a coal-fueled electric generating facility to submit to the office a workforce transition plan at least 90 days before the retirement of the facility.

Electric Vehicles

  • Senate Bill 19-077 – Public Utility Implementation of an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Program

Requires utilities to file an application for a program to support transportation electrification every three years starting in 2020 that may include investments or incentives, rates or programs, and customer outreach and education.

Requires Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to convene a group of stakeholders affected by the adoption of new and emerging transportation technologies and business models to develop policy recommendations to address resulting impacts. Any fees adopted must incentivize multi-passenger trips and use of EVs, and revenues will go to multimodal transportation and EV infrastructure.

View the study website via CDOT: https://www.codot.gov/library/studies/emerging-mobility-impact-study/

  • House Bill 19-1159 – Modifications to the Income Tax Credits for Innovative Motor Vehicles 

Modifies amounts and extends the number of years of existing income tax credits for the purchase or lease of EVs or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; previous law phased it out at the end of 2021 - this bill extends it through the end of 2025.

Provides more flexibility in how the EV Grant Fund is used by allowing funds for administration of charging station grants and to offset charging station operating costs. Requires that these funds be continuously appropriated to the Colorado Energy Office.

Authorizes the owner of a plug-in EV charging station to install a sign that identifies the station. If the sign is installed, a person is prohibited from parking in the space if the vehicle is not an EV and using the charging station for parking if the EV is not charging.

Energy Efficiency

Updates and adopts standards for new equipment sold in Colorado and requires that certain appliances, plumbing fixtures and other products sold for residential or commercial use meet energy efficiency and water efficiency standards that will be phased in over three years.

Requires local jurisdictions to adopt one of the three most recent versions of the International Energy Conservation Code (ICC), at a minimum, when updating any other building code.

  • Gov. Polis created a Climate Cabinet, to ensure that state agencies work together to meet the goal of getting to 100 percent renewable energy and meeting the state’s bold greenhouse gas reduction goals. (Governor’s Dashboard: https://dashboard.state.co.us/bold4-energy-renewables.htm)
  • On January 17, 2019, Gov. Polis issued Executive Order B 2019-002 Supporting a Transition to Zero Emission Vehicles to initiate a proposal for a zero-emissions vehicle standard, create a transportation electrification workgroup and directing a $70 million investment in vehicle electrification.
  • On May 30, 2019, Governor Polis released the Roadmap to 100 Percent Renewable Energy and Bold Climate Action.
  • In August 2019, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment adopted the zero emissions vehicle standard. For more information visit, https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/zero-emission-vehicle-mandate-proposal.
  • In December 2019, the Air Quality Control Commission approved new rules under Senate Bill 19-181 to further tighten emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry. It will be considering additional rules in 2020. 
  • In December 2019, Governor Polis signed Executive Order D 2019-016 extending the state government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making government operations more energy efficient and sustainable. The Executive Order’s goals focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions across state government by at least 10 percent below 2014-15 levels by 2022-23. To accomplish this goal, the executive order establishes more targeted efforts in energy efficiency, renewable energy and fleet management.
  • In May 2020, the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) adopted Air Regulation Number 22, Parts A and B. Part A requires sources of greenhouse gas pollution to monitor and annually report their emissions to the Air Pollution Control Division of CDPHE. Part B establishes phase-out dates for the use of hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs) in foams, aerosols, air conditioning and refrigeration. The AQCC's adoption of the HFC phase-out makes Colorado the first state to adopt the Climate Alliance States' Model Framework for the phasing out of these potent greenhouse gases. 
  • In 2018 Colorado signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance's Natural and Working Lands Challenge. Colorado commits to managing natural and working lands, including forests, farms, rangelands and wetlands to be resilient carbon sinks and to protect the communities, economies and ecosystems that depend on them.
  • In 2019, the Department of Local Affairs launched a $12 million Renewable/Clean Energy Challenge Grant Program for local governments to spark efforts in reaching Colorado’s 100% renewable energy by 2040 goal. For more information visit, https://cdola.colorado.gov/renewable-and-clean-energy-challenge
  • Governor Polis’s 2020-2021 proposed budget prioritized resources to improve air quality by strengthening compliance, enforcement and ambient air quality monitoring efforts at the state’s Air Pollution Control Division, create a new, incentive-based Soil Health Program within the Department of Agriculture, support efforts to replace all suitable state fleet vehicles with electric vehicles, and invest in charging infrastructure at state facilities. 
  • The Colorado Energy Office has intervened in multiple dockets at the Public Utilities Commission. Completed dockets include a new line extension policy that will facilitate installation of EV charging in Xcel Energy's service territory and a new EV charging rate for electric buses and other fleets.
  • State agencies assisted Tri-State in developing a Responsible Energy Plan in which Tri-State, the second largest utility in the state, commits to retiring all of its coal plants in Colorado by 2030, adding approximately 1000 MW of wind and solar by 2024, and reducing state emissions 90% by 2030.