Colorado governor proposes to cut greenhouse gases, remove all gas powered vehicles

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis released a plan Wednesday to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet environmentally conscious targets.

The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap details steps the state needs to take to cut greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 50 percent in a decade, and by 25 percent in the next five years.

But the plan also aims to “close by 100 percent” non-electric vehicles on Colorado’s roads in 30 years – meaning the state intends to be entirely electric vehicle-operated by 2050.

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“From day one, my administration has prioritized a swift transition to renewable energy and bold climate action, and this Roadmap is a significant step forward to continue to reduce pollution for the benefit of the health and well-being of our communities and our economy,” Polis said in a statement Wednesday.

The plan also covers addressing greenhouse gas emissions caused by residential and commercials buildings, the oil and gas sector and even farms and ranches.

“We have taken historic steps towards our goals, and this roadmap will help guide the critical efforts necessary to reap the full benefits of boldly and equitably transitioning to a clean energy economy,” Polis said.

But not all climate activists are convinced the more than 170-page plan, which was released for public comment Wednesday, actually offers much in the way of substance.

“The roadmap is missing the most essential element for progress: concrete regulatory policies to be proposed swiftly, that taken together are fully capable of guaranteeing climate pollution goes down,” Pam Kiely, a senior director for regulatory strategy at the Environmental Defense Fund told the Colorado Sun.

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The plan was announced as Colorado endures poor air quality due to on-going fires around the state and across the border, in neighboring Wyoming.

“Colorado is experiencing two of the three largest wildfires in the history of our state, and that’s just one of countless indicators that climate change presents an increasing threat to our economy and our way of life,” Polis said in a statement.

The roadmap claims that hitting the targets is “feasible with existing technologies, but will require actions and policies beyond those Colorado has taken already.”

But while some climate activists have said the plan is not enough, others in the environmental sector believe the plan is a push in the right direction.

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“There’s a lot of work ahead of us to address the climate crisis, and we’re going to continue moving forward with a rigorous, data-driven process to implement the policies that are right for Colorado’s environment, people, disproportionately impacted communities, and economy,” John Putnam, director of environmental programs for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a statement.

A public hearing will be held on Oct. 20 and the draft will be available for public comment until Nov 1.  A finalized version of the roadmap is expected to released by the end of the year.

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