From The Cortez Journal (Ryan Maye Handy):
Effort worries coal counties on Western Slope; seen as duplicate by some
Lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill Thursday that orders the state to expand its tracking and possibly regulations of greenhouse gas emissions through 2050, an effort to buck the Trump administration’s disinterest in tackling climate change.
Colorado has been tracking greenhouse gas emissions by sector since 2008, but Senate Bill 096 greatly expands an existing effort by the Air Quality Control Commission. Under the bill, the commission would collect data and propose rules to address emissions by July 2020. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment would be required to collect annual greenhouse gas data by sector and publish it; the department would also be required to forecast emissions through 2050.
The bill’s opponents say it would generate more regulations that could push coal-fired power plants closer to extinction, killing jobs and further raising electricity costs on the Western Slope…
…Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, the bill’s sponsor, said the measure would help Colorado reach its 2025 goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least a quarter. It would also ensure that greenhouse gas emission data would not depend on the federal government, which under President Donald Trump has abandoned its commitment to the Paris climate change accords.
The bill passed the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee on a party-line vote of 5-2; it now heads to the Appropriations Committee…
Southwest Colorado greenhouse gas emissions attracted global attention in 2014, when NASA scientists discovered a 2,500-square-mile methane cloud over the Four Corners caused in part by natural gas production. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
Even as Colorado grapples with methane emissions from oil and gas operations and a power mix still mostly reliant on coal, Sen. Ray Scott, a Mesa County Republican, questioned why SB 096 would have the state spend nearly $2 million to duplicate data already being tracked by the federal agencies and local universities.