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Reduce Greenhouse Gases Increase Environmental Justice

Concerning measures to further environmental protections, and, in connection therewith, adopting measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and adopting protections for disproportionately impacted communities.
2021 Regular Session
Natural Resources & Environment
Bill Summary

Current law requires the air quality control commission (AQCC) to adopt rules that will result in the statewide reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050, as compared to 2005 emissions. Section 2 of the bill supplements these requirements by:

  • Directing the AQCC to:
  • Consider the social cost of GHG emissions;
  • Require GHG reductions on a linear or more stringent path; and
  • Finalize its implementing rules by March 1, 2022, including specific net emission weight limits for various emission sectors, subject to modification by the AQCC, including through the use of a multi-sector program;
  • Directing each wholesale generation and transmission electric cooperative to file with the public utilities commission a responsible energy plan that will achieve at least an 80% GHG reduction by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels and specifying that if a plan is not filed, the cooperative must achieve at least a 90% GHG reduction by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels; and
  • Directing each retail, wholesale, and municipal electric utility and cooperative electric association to reduce its GHG emissions by at least 95% between 2035 and 2040 and by 100% by 2040.

Section 3 adds GHG to the definition of "regulated pollutant", prohibits the AQCC from excluding GHG emissions from the requirement to pay annual emission fees that are based on emissions of regulated pollutants, gives the AQCC rule-making authority to set the GHG annual emission fee, and authorizes the use of these fees for outreach to and engagement of disproportionately impacted communities. Section 4 requires the AQCC's GHG reporting rules to establish an assumed emission rate representing the average regional fossil fuel generation emission rate for electricity generated by a renewable energy resource for which the associated renewable energy credit is not retired in the year generated. Section 5 creates an environmental justice ombudsperson position and an environmental justice advisory board in the department of public health and environment. The ombudsperson and the advisory board will work collaboratively to promote environmental justice in Colorado. Sections 2 and 5 specify processes for soliciting and facilitating input from disproportionately impacted communities regarding proposed AQCC rule changes and departmental decision-making.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)




Bill Text


Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Sen. D. Moreno, Sen. F. Winter
Rep. D. Jackson



The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details