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Adopt Programs Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Utilities

Concerning the adoption of programs by gas utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2021 Regular Session
Natural Resources & Environment
Bill Summary

Section 1 of the bill defines a "gas distribution utility" (GDU) as a gas public utility with more than 90,000 retail customers. The bill requires each GDU to file a clean heat plan (plan) with the public utilities commission (PUC). A plan must demonstrate how the GDU will use clean heat resources to meet clean heat targets (targets) established in the bill. The targets are a 5 4 % reduction below 2015 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels by 2025 and 20 22 % below 2015 GHG emission levels by 2030. Section 1 makes a legislative finding that meeting these targets will facilitate the electric generating utility sector's compliance with the state's GHG emission reduction goals by reducing GDUs' carbon dioxide and methane emissions.A plan may use qualified offsets as one method to meet the targets. A GDU that uses only clean heat resources in its plan to meet the targets is not subject to any other GHG emission reduction requirements during the 5-year period covered by the plan. If a GDU does not file a plan, the air quality control commission (AQCC) will adopt rules to require the GDU to meet a 30% GHG emission reduction by 2035 when compared to 2015 levels.

The PUC will initiate a rule-making proceeding by August October 1, 2021, to adopt update demand-side management rules. that The PUC will establish a cost cap for each GDU's compliance with its plan. The cost cap is 2 2.5 % of annual gas bills for all of a GDU's full-service customers. A plan that costs equal to or less than the cost cap and uses clean heat resources to the maximum practicable extent need not meet the targets. A plan that uses only clean heat resources and meets the targets need not comply with the cost cap. The PUC is directed to approve a plan if the PUC finds that doing so is in the public interest.

A municipal GDU must file a plan with the air quality control commission (AQCC) that demonstrates a 20 4% GHG emission reduction by 2025 and a 22 % GHG emission reduction by 2030 , both as compared with 2015 levels. Small GDUs may file a plan, which is subject to the cost cap and must contain its own targets.Section 2 requires the AQCC to initiate a rule-making proceeding by January September 1, 2022, to define qualified offsets that plans may use to meet a target. The AQCC will start another rule-making proceeding by January 1, 2029, to determine mass-based GHG emission reduction goals for plans for 2035, 2040, 2045, and 2050 establish protocols for recovered methane that utilities must use in forecasting their emission reductions .Section 3 gives directs the oil and gas conservation commission authority over class VI to conduct a study to evaluate the resources that would be needed to ensure the safe and effective regulation of injection wells used for sequestration of GHG. including through the issuance of permits.

(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.)




Bill Text