By Fred Malo Jr.
The Colorado state legislature is in session, and one proposed bill stands out on the agenda — Senate Bill 16. For starters, the law would raise the target for greenhouse gas emissions cuts from 2005 standards from 90% by 2050 to 100% and implemental goals on the way there are also increased across the board. Currently, the state isn’t on pace to meet its 26% reduction goal by 2025.
Other features of the legislation are:
Request the state’s Public Employees Retirement Association (the retirement fund for teachers, law enforcement, etc.) to divest from fossil fuel companies, whose stocks and bonds are losing money anyway.
Improve power transmission lines by requiring local governments to review land applications for renovation, rebuilding and reconditioning transmission lines.
Use wastewater thermal energy for heat.
Give the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission authority over injection wells and the sequestration of greenhouse gases.
SB16 is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris Hansen of Denver and Representatives Karen McCormick of Longmont and Emily Sirota of Denver.
With super majorities in both houses of the state legislature, the Democrats should have no problem pushing the bill through the assembly. The stumbling block could be Democratic Gov. Jared Polis and his libertarian ways.
Prior to this, the most important piece of climate legislation in Colorado was 2019’s SB181, which became a list of toothless guidelines for the oil-and-gas extraction industry when Polis refused to put any enforcement behind it.
The same fate could befall SB16. First, let’s contact state Sen. Kerry Donovan and Rep. Elizabeth Velasco and get the bill to Polis’ desk. Then, we’ll zero in on the governor.
Fred Malo Jr.