Ballot Issue Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report
Current law allows a legislative measure to include a greenhouse gas emissions report (report) prepared by the nonpartisan staff of the legislative council that indicates whether the legislative measure is likely to cause a net increase, decrease, or indeterminate amount of greenhouse gas pollution in the 10-year period following its enactment. A report must consider new sources of emissions, increases or decreases in existing sources of emissions, and any impact on sequestration of emissions. The department of natural resources, the Colorado energy office, and other state agencies with relevant subject matter expertise are required to cooperate with and provide information, if requested, to the legislative council staff to assist in the preparation of a report.
The bill requires the director of research of the legislative council (director) to prepare a preliminary report that requires an analysis on whether a properly submitted initiative has a net change in greenhouse gas emissions that directly impacts the following sectors:
- Electric power;
- Natural gas and oil systems;
- Residential, commercial, or industrial fuel use;
- Industrial processes;
- Coal mining and abandoned mines;
- Waste management;
- Land use, land use change, or forestry; and
The director is required to provide proponents of the proposed initiative, or their representatives, and the secretary of state with the preliminary report no later than the time of the title board meeting at which the proposed initiated measure is to be considered.
The bill requires the ballot title of a measure that has a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions as indicated by the preliminary report to begin with "Shall there be an increase in greenhouse gas emissions...". The ballot title of a measure that has a net decrease in greenhouse gas emissions as indicated by the preliminary report must begin with "Shall there be a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions...".
If it is determined in the preliminary report that the proposed initiative is likely to directly cause a net increase or decrease, excluding any de minimis net changes, in greenhouse gas pollution in the 10-year period following the potential enactment of the initiative, staff of the legislative council are required to prepare a full report. The department of natural resources, the Colorado energy office, and other state agencies with relevant subject matter expertise are required to assist the staff of the legislative council with information in preparation of the report if requested.
Proponents may file a motion for a rehearing with the secretary of state within 7 days after the title board sets the initiative's title on the grounds that the preliminary report is misleading or prejudicial. The title board may modify the preliminary report based on information presented at the rehearing. If the title board modifies the report, the secretary of state shall provide the director with a copy of the amended report and the director shall post the new version of the report on the legislative council's website.
The bill further requires the ballot information booklet to include any required preliminary report for any statewide measure and provide information on how to obtain the full greenhouse gas emissions report if one is available.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)