CADA Responds to Ritter's Colorado Climate Action Plan
CLICK HERE to view Gov. Ritter’s Colorado Climate Action Plan.
CLICK HERE to view CADA's response to Gov. Ritter’s announcement on climate change.
CLICK HERE to view CADA's survey results on environmental policies and regulations.
Ritter on Monday rolled out the state's first "Climate Action Plan."
"Climate change is our generation's greatest environmental challenge," Gov. Ritter said in his announcement. "It threatens our economy, our Western way of life and our future. It will change every facet of our existence, and unless we address it and adapt to it, the results will be catastrophic for generations to
"I strongly believe we can make a difference. In setting and achieving the goals in this Colorado Climate Action Plan, we will continue to expand the New Energy Economy, show leadership as a state, increase our energy security, and call on the federal government to take strong action."
The Climate Action Plan, which includes an agricultural carbon sequestration and offset program, establishes two greenhouse-gas reduction goals: 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.
The agricultural program would enlist farmers and ranchers to participate in a regional consortium to sequester carbon and reduce emissions on agricultural lands, and sell the resulting carbon credits over a multi-state region.
Other strategies in the Climate Action Plan include:
Raise emissions standards on new "clean" cars.
Cut emissions from power plants owned by Xcel Energy Inc. and Aquila Inc., the state's two investor-owned utilities, by 20 percent by 2020. Create goals for cutting emission by other utilities operating in the state.
Expand voluntary, and over time phase in mandatory, emission reporting requirements for major greenhouse gas producers.
Adopt energy-efficiency programs to reduce the demand for electrical energy.
Expand renewable energy opportunities.
Partner with research institutions and industry to develop clean-coal technologies, and urge the federal government to accelerate financial investments and incentives.
Specifically, Gov. Ritter said he will:
By the end of the year, issue an executive order calling for a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and directing state agencies to work toward that goal.
Direct the state agriculture and public health departments to develop an agricultural carbon offset program. Direct the Colorado Air Quality Control Division to propose "clean car greenhouse gas emission standards" within one to two years.
Direct the Governor's Energy Office to launch an Industrial Energy Efficiency Program to encourage large industrial customers to implement efficiency measures. Also have the office do bi-annual reports on the state of renewable energy development in Colorado.
Direct the state natural resources and public health departments to "resolve hurdles" involved in burying carbon dioxide underground and identify potential burial, or sequestration, sites in Colorado.
Request the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to get an analysis of utilities it oversees on how they will reduce emissions.
Change the April 2007 "Greening of State Government" executive order to establish a 75 percent by 2020 waste diversion goal for state government.
Direct the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division to begin examining guidelines that would phase in mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions by major emitters.
The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association immediately denounced Ritter's plan to increase auto emissions standards, saying Colorado shouldn't adopt California's standards -- currently the strictest in the nation. California is waiting for a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the standards, as are more than a dozen other states who have said they'd follow California's lead.
"Some states have created vehicle buy-back programs to take older, higher emitting vehicles off the street," Tim Jackson, president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, said in a statement. "In certain places, utilities and others wanting to gain carbon credits buy back old cars. When those older cars are taken out of commission and new lower emission vehicles replace them, the net result is cleaner air."