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Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures

Concerning measures to promote reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2023 Regular Session
Natural Resources & Environment
Bill Summary

Section 1 of the bill requires that, beginning in 2024, each insurance company issued a certificate of authority to transact insurance business that reports more than $100 million on its annual schedule T filing with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) must participate in and complete the NAIC's "Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey" or successor survey or reporting mechanism.Section 2 requires the public employees' retirement association (PERA) board, on or before June 1, 2024, to adopt proxy voting procedures that ensure that the board's voting decisions align with, and are supportive of, the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals updates the powers and duties of the Colorado energy office, including requiring the office to make progress toward eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from electricity generation, gas utilities, and transportation; support the implementation of clean heat plans, beneficial electrification, and sustainable land-use measures to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas pollution. Section 3 requires the public employees' retirement association ( PERA ) to include as part of its annual investment stewardship report, which report is posted on the PERA board's website, a description of climate-related investment risks, impacts, and strategies.Section 4 adds wastewater thermal energy equipment to the definition of "pollution control equipment", which equipment may be certified by the division of administration (division) in the department of public health and environment (CDPHE). Similarly, section 5 6 adds wastewater thermal energy to the definition of "clean heat resource", which resource a gas distribution utility includes in its clean heat plan filed with the public utilities commission (PUC) .The air quality control commission (AQCC) is required to establish by rule a fee per ton of GHG based on GHG emissions reported through air pollution emission notices. Section 5 authorizes the fee to be based on other reporting that the commission requires of greenhouse gas-emitting entities regarding emissions.Section 6 7 updates the statewide GHG emission reduction goals to add a 65% reduction goal for 2035, an 80% a 75% reduction goal for 2040, and a 90% reduction goal for 2045 when compared to 2005 GHG pollution levels. Section 6 also increases the 2050 GHG emission reduction goal from 90% of 2005 GHG pollution levels to 100%.Section 7 8 gives the oil and gas conservation commission (COGCC) authority over class VI injection wells used for sequestration of GHG if the governor and COGCC determine, in accordance with a study that the COGCC conducted in 2021, that the state has sufficient resources to ensure the safe and effective regulation of the sequestration of GHG. If the governor and the COGCC determine there are sufficient resources, the COGCC may seek primacy under the federal "Safe Drinking Water Act" and, when granted, may issue and enforce permits for class VI injection wells. The COGCC shall require, as part of its regulation of class VI injection wells, that operators of the wells maintain adequate financial assurance until the COGCC approves the closure of a class VI injection well site.Sections 9 and 10 prohibit a homeowners' association from disallowing the use of a heat pump system on a residential property located within the common interest community governed by the homeowners' association.Section 8 11 establishes a state income tax credit in an amount equal to 30% of the purchase price for new, electric-powered lawn equipment for purchases made in income tax years 2024 through 2026. A seller of new, electric-powered lawn equipment that registers with the department of revenue as a qualified retailer (qualified retailer) and demonstrates that it provided a purchaser a 30% discount from the purchase price of new, electric-powered lawn equipment may claim the tax credit. The tax credit is refundable. Section 14 authorizes the department of revenue to provide advance payments of the income tax credit to qualified retailers .Current law requires an electric retail utility (utility) to offer a net metering credit as the means of purchasing output from a community solar garden (CSG) located within the utility's service territory and establishes the means of calculating the net metering credit. Section 9 maintains that calculation if the CSG indicates to the utility that the CSG's subscribers' bill credits change annually. If the CSG indicates to the utility that the CSG's subscribers' bill credits remain fixed, however, section 9 provides a different calculation for determining the net metering credit.Sections 12 and 13 extend a $5,000,000 appropriation made to the division of local government in the department of local affairs in state fiscal year 2020-21 for use for the renewable and clean energy initiative program to allow the division to use the appropriation until it is fully expended.Section 16 requires the PUC, when reviewing an electric utility's plan for the construction or expansion of transmission facilities, to consider the need for expanded transmission capacity in the state, including the ability to expand capacity through construction of new transmission lines, improvements to existing lines, or connections to an organized wholesale market. Section 17 increases the reserve margin for the Colorado electric transmission authority from 15% to 50%.Section 18 requires retail electric utilities to provide timely service to customers seeking interconnection of the customer's retail distributed generation resource to the utility's grid and requires the PUC to establish, as part of its interconnection rules, timelines for timely interconnection. The PUC, after a hearing on a complaint regarding an alleged violation of the requirements for timely interconnection of a customer's retail distributed generation resource, may fine a retail electric utility up to $2,000 per day for each day that the PUC determines that the violation continued. A retail electric utility may recover its prudently incurred costs to facilitate timely interconnection, including the costs of equipment needed for future upgrades for interconnection. Section 15 defines terms related to interconnection.Section 19 raises the maximum fee that the PUC may assess against a utility for a violation of the "Public Utilities Law" from $2,000 for each offense to $20,000 per offense for each day that the offense continues. Section 19 also establishes factors that the PUC is required to consider in assessing a penalty against a utility, including the size of the utility, the utility's previous history of any similar violations, remedial measures, and any factors that may mitigate the harm to the utility's customers.A gas distribution utility in the state is required to comply with clean heat targets by demonstrating the use of clean heat resources. Recovered methane, including biomethane, that meets a documented set of procedures and requirements that the AQCC establishes, is such a clean heat resource. Section 20 amends the definition of "biomethane" to include operations for dairy cows, beef cattle, poultry, swine, or sheep and the definition of "recovered methane protocol" to include a protocol that the AQCC adopts to include the use of manure from beef cattle operations.Sections 10 through 12 21 and 22 incorporate projects to renovate or recondition existing utility transmission lines into the "Colorado Electric Transmission Authority Act", allowing the Colorado electric transmission authority (authority) to finance and renovate, rebuild, or recondition existing transmission lines in order to update and optimize the transmission lines. Section 23 requires the authority to study the need for expanded transmission capacity, including the ability to expand capacity through construction of new transmission lines, improvements to existing lines, or connections to an organized wholesale market. The authority is required to present an initial report of its study to the PUC on or before September 1, 2024, and a final report to the joint committee of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over energy matters on or before January 31, 2025.Section 13 24 requires a local government to expedite , as practicable, its review of a land use application that proposes a project to renovate, rebuild, or recondition existing transmission lines.Section 14 25 makes a conforming amendment regarding the updated statewide GHG emission reduction goals set forth in section 6 7 .

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


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