Denver

Colorado Democrats Clash Over New Environmental Bill – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-04-30 18:48:03 –

environment

recently Colorado Springs Gazette In the editorial, Governor Jared Polis threatened to reject the new environmental justice bill. However, some lawmakers say his reason doesn’t make sense and harms vulnerable communities.

••

From time to time, Governor Jared Polis turns to intense anecdotes. At a press conference in November, he compared attending a Thanksgiving supper to “bringing a pistol loaded into Grandma’s head.” However, his recent use of strong language has confused and frustrated many Colorado environmentalists.

so April 28th article from Colorado Springs GazetteEditorial board, Police aims to create more resources to help the state achieve its pollution reduction goals and work with disproportionately affected communities in the meantime. Part of the Senate Bill 21-200 passed Colorado Air Quality Control Committee (AQCC) “Almost destroy or assault the entire economy with legal obligations to achieve certain hard carbon reduction targets.” “Dictatorship.” Police also said he would exercise his veto when the bill arrived at his desk.

5280 With police Gazette The editorial board focused on the section of the bill that did not radically change the previous law. “It really just puts an exclamation mark on the existing law,” says Matt Gerhardt, a staff lawyer at the Sierra Club.

Gerhart talks about House Bill 19-1261. Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution.. Police itself signed an ambitious bill in 2019 to set Colorado’s greenhouse gas pollution reduction targets. By 2050, Centennial needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% compared to 2005 levels. To ensure that Colorado achieves its goals, HB 19-1261 provides two checkpoints.

HB 19-1261 gives some responsibility for achieving these goals at AQCC, a committee under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). This allows the AQCC to create rules and regulations that help the state achieve its goals.

So far, Greenhouse gas pollution reduction roadmap Colorado, announced earlier this year by the Governor’s Office, is on track to fail to meet these goals. In fact, achieving less than half of the emission reductions outlined in HB19-1261 is on track. This is part of why Colorado’s Senator Faith Winter has put together the SB21-200 with her co-sponsors, State Senators Angela Williams, Dominique Jackson, and KC Becker. “We provide the Air Quality Management Committee with the ability and resources to meet the variables of the governor’s own roadmap,” says Winter.

Some stakeholders have stated that the AQCC already has the authority to develop rules and regulations that will help Colorado achieve the goals set out in HB19-1261. “HB-1261 is a clear indication that AQCC has this authority,” says Gerhart. (If you want to delve into all the complexity of AQCC, check out Section 25-7-105, Explains the obligations under HB 19-1261 in detail. However, AQCC took a long time to take on that role. “Since we are sitting here today, I don’t think there is a single rule issued by AQCC to implement 1261 and impose actual emission reductions,” says Gerhart.

For clarity, neither Gerhart nor Winter have accused AQCC of stalling. Instead, they attribute that slowness to a lack of resources. SB 21-200 will provide more funding to take responsibility for AQCC and CDPHE by closing loopholes in AQCC regulation. Currently, AQCC requires the industry to pay for the emission of certain types of pollutants, such as small particulate matter. However, emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are exempt. “We have long suggested that treating greenhouse gases like other pollutants (such as small particulate matter) could increase the additional funding of CDPHE,” said the Western Resources Advocates Clean Energy Program. Deputy Director Erin Overturf said. , One of the supporters of SB21-200.

These additional funds could add $ 15 million annually to CDPHE and AQCC, Winter said. 1261. “

So winter is disappointed with the police statement Colorado Springs Gazette.. “Currently, our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is based on many wishes and press releases,” she says. “If we are reluctant to put the power of resources and law behind these goals, do we just admit that we are not going to achieve them? It’s our state and I It will have a devastating impact on both of our worlds. “

Ean Tafoya, a member of the Colorado-based non-profit organization Green Latinos for environmental justice, is angry with Police’s decision to prioritize the economy over people. “This has been part of the industry guide while I was working on environmental justice,” says Tafoya. “‘The sky will fall and the economy will collapse. But if you’re harming people, don’t do business.”

And many people, especially the vulnerable communities he advocates, have been affected, says Tafoya. According to a January report by Mapping For Environmental Justice, Colorado’s low-income and colored communities inhale almost twice as much diesel pollution as the predominantly white community. They are also 1.5 times more likely to live near a super fund site, the name given to the worst toxic waste site in the country.

But, as Tafoya points out, the criticism of Police does not address the environmental justice part of the bill. The SB21-200 will be used by the CDPHE to create an Environmental Justice Ombudsman position and an Environmental Justice Advisory Board to seek feedback from communities affected by air pollution disproportionately. “He wrote us down completely so that what we were talking about didn’t matter,” says Tafoya.

Further confusing environmentalists is Police’s claim that AQCC, a group of experts appointed by the governor himself, could become a dictator. “It was really shocking for him to delve into his administration,” says Tafoya. And being dishonest, Gerhart said: “HB19-1216 states that AQCC needs to consider many factors during rulemaking, such as health, economy and work.”

Still, Police does not agree that sufficient temporary measures have been taken to prevent the AQCC from becoming “one committee to govern everything,” said Governor spokesman Elizabeth.・ Kozar stated in a statement. 5280: “The SB200 is sector-specific, which has shown that it is inconsistent with those strategies and we have not always endorsed, rather than implementing the key strategies shown in the Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap. Apply caps to undermine and slow down the entire state. Single responsible for regulating the vast extent of the state’s economy that has a significant impact on the reliability of workers, color communities, and energy systems. Government’s approach to achieving our ambitious goals by creating a volunteer committee of. AQCC strongly believes that it will play an important role in achieving our climate goals, but is a member of the Public Interest Business Commission. The same goes for associations, oil and gas conservation committees, and state councils. “

Both sides of the democratic division said they were looking forward to tackling this issue more. “The governor and the bill sponsors share the same goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting Colorado’s lifestyle,” says Kozar. “Thanks for the efforts of the bill sponsors.”

Winter wants to negotiate on her side as well. However, she argues that the ultimate goal of the SB 21-200 is to allow more people to enter the AQCC rules. “The disproportionately affected communities aren’t as involved in these processes as they deserve,” she says. “SB21-200 improves transparency and accessibility in making these decisions.”

Angela Ufeil, Co-editor

Angela Ufheil co-creates 5280 Compass, Adventure and Culture sections and writes to 5280.com.

Colorado Democrats Clash Over New Environmental Bill Source link Colorado Democrats Clash Over New Environmental Bill

Back to top button