W. Govs sign MOU to plan regional electric vehicle corridor for the west #ActOnCLimate

Coyote Gulch’s Leaf connected in the parking garage in Winter Park, August 21, 2017.

Here’s the release from Governor Hickenlooper’s office:

Today, the Governors of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide a framework for creating a regional electric vehicle plan for the West (“REV West Plan”). The Plan was announced today at the Energy Innovation Summit hosted by the National Governors Association.

The Plan spans more than 5,000 miles of highway across east-west Interstates 10, 40, 70, 76, 80, 84, 86, 90 and 94, and north-south Interstates 15 and 25. With more than 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids already on the roads in western states, the electrification of these major corridors is expected to reduce range anxiety and drive further adoption of EVs, while transforming the market to allow smaller communities to plug into the regional system.

The MOU calls for a coordination group to undertake the following actions:

Create best practices and procedures that will enhance EV adoption by promoting EV consumer acceptance and awareness by addressing “range anxiety”; coordinate on EV charging station locations to avoid redundancy and to ensure stations are sited at a frequency and locations so as to optimize utilization and to minimize inconsistencies between charging infrastructure in each state; and leverage economies of scale;

Create voluntary minimum standards for EV charging stations, including standards for administration, interoperability, operations, and management;

Identify and develop opportunities to incorporate EV charging station infrastructure into planning and development processes, such as building codes, metering policies, and renewable energy generation projects;

Encourage EV manufacturers to stock and market a wide variety of EVs within the Signatory States; and

Identify, respond to, and where possible collaborate on funding opportunities to support the development of the Regional Electric Vehicle West EV Corridor.

“This framework is another example of the innovation and bipartisan collaboration happening around energy here in the West,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. “Through this collaboration, we will drive economic growth and promote our outdoor recreation opportunities across our states. Our residents and the millions of visitors to our states will be able to drive electric vehicles from Denver to Las Vegas, from Santa Fe to Helena.”

“This is the latest example of states like Idaho being on the forefront of energy advancement,” said Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. “In the West we pride ourselves on what we can accomplish by working together. This initiative will ensure that locals and visitors to Idaho and our neighboring states have the freedom to explore the West in the way they prefer.”

“This state-led effort shows how western states continue to work together to find innovative solutions and plan for a future where increasing numbers of people and families are traveling the West in electric vehicles,” said Governor Steve Bullock of Montana. “I am pleased to sign onto this bipartisan effort to take practical steps to realize the economic and environmental benefits of coordinated infrastructure planning that will benefit us now and well into the future.”

“It is important for Western states to work together and prepare as the use of electric vehicles grows,” said Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “This initiative encourages infrastructure plans that allow people with electric vehicles to visit and recreate in Wyoming. Strategically spaced charging stations will allow these visitors to enjoy the same independence as traditional vehicles.”

“Utah is proud to take part in modernizing the ‘Crossroads of the West’ through working state-to-state to establish this strategic electric vehicle transportation network,” said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. “By knitting together the plans of seven key states through cooperative partnerships one to another, America’s travelers will soon be able to experience the wonders of the West while enjoying the innovations of our day and advancing environmental outcomes.”

“Our state’s portfolio encourages the use of all energy assets,” said New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. “We’ve already begun to install electric vehicle charging stations at state-owned buildings, and we stand with other western states by making a bold commitment by supporting successful implementation of an EV charging station network along our main interstate corridors.”

@ColoradoClimate: Weekly Climate, Water and #Drought Assessment of the Intermountain West

Upper Colorado River Basin precipitation as a percent of normal September 2017 via the Colorado Climate Center.

Click here to read the current assessment. Click here to go to the NIDIS website hosted by the Colorado Climate Center.

Eco-challenge: Save water with your trash – News on TAP

After turning nearly 20,000 pounds of waste into compost, sustainability program helps reduce operational impacts to the environment.

Source: Eco-challenge: Save water with your trash – News on TAP

South Platte Forum, October 25-26, 2017

Click here for all the inside skinny and to register:

The South Platte Forum was initiated in 1989 to provide an avenue for a timely, multi-disciplinary exchange of information and ideas important to resource management in the South Platte River Basin. Its stated mandates are:

  • to enhance the effective management of natural resources in the South Platte River Basin by promoting coordination between state, federal and local resource managers, and private enterprise, and
  • to promote the interchange of ideas among disciplines to increase awareness and understanding of South Platte River Basin issues and public values.
  • The Platte River is formed in western Nebraska east of the city of North Platte, Nebraska by the confluence of the North Platte and the South Platte Rivers, which both arise from snowmelt in the eastern Rockies east of the Continental Divide. Map via Wikimedia.

    The “Great Places” newsletter is hot off the presses from The Nature Conservancy (@nature_org)

    Screen shot Nature Conservancy Great Places newsletter October 4, 2017.

    Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

    Like Beer? Then Protect Forests

    Beer is 95 percent water, and more than half of our water comes from forests. OktoberForest works with brewers nationwide to highlight the need to restore forests and protect beer’s main ingredient.

    Find Out What You Can Do to Protect Your Favorite Brew.

    #ColoradoSprings sales tax revenue up, stormwater infrastructure could benefit

    Colorado Springs with the Front Range in background. Photo credit Wikipedia.

    From The Colorado Springs Gazette (J. Adrian Stanley ):

    The budget proposal assumes the stormwater fee measure on the Nov. 7 ballot will not pass, but Suthers is prepared to submit an amendment to City Council if it does.

    A big chunk of the anticipated increase in revenue is from sales tax collection increases. At times, the city has needed to refund sales tax collections that grew quickly, due to revenue growth limits set by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. But this year, and in 2018, the city will be able to keep $6 million per year in revenue overage thanks to a measure approved by voters in April. That money is dedicated to stormwater projects. (The city is aggressively dealing with drainage issues, in part, because it’s being sued by the federal government for violation of the Clean Water Act.)