Western Resource Advocates today issued the following statement urging the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) to open a comprehensive climate pollution rulemaking in response to the petition for rulemaking filed today by the Environmental Defense Fund.
EDF’s petition proposes a set of regulations establishing a framework that would ensure the state reduces carbon pollution consistent with the science-based goals set in HB 1261: 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050, all compared with 2005 levels. In August, WRA proposed a different regulatory mechanism with the same aim of providing an enforceable “backstop” to ensure Colorado achieves its climate goals and does its part to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The EDF and WRA proposals complement the suite of sector-specific policies identified in the Polis administration’s Draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Roadmap, released in November, providing a critical insurance policy that ensures we achieve our goals.
“This summer, Coloradans experienced unprecedented high temperatures, drought, and wildfires, as well as air pollution levels so high that public health officials advised people to shelter in safe rooms in their homes,” said Erin Overturf, deputy director of WRA’s Clean Energy Program. “We are living with the impacts of the climate crisis, and Coloradans want action. The AQCC, the agency empowered to set limits on greenhouse gas pollution, should take every opportunity to act and ensure the state’s climate policy is of sufficient strength and stringency to ensure we achieve our goals in a cost-effective and equitable manner.”
In August, Western Resource Advocates presented an approach that would set sector-specific pollution limits for each major category of pollution and outlined a framework of regulations to ensure the limits are met. EDF’s proposal outlines an integrated cross-sector approach that similarly would ensure that the state’s science-based goals are met. The EDF rulemaking petition provides an important opportunity for the AQCC to commence a stakeholder engagement process to develop a “backstop” policy that would ensure pollution is reduced at the pace and scale over the next decade that science demands.
Scientists say we have a limited window in which to act. WRA and EDF are unified in asking the AQCC to act urgently and with ambition to preserve a healthy, livable environment for future generations.