Advocating strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a level supportive of a livable climate.

Author: Jan Rose

2024 Climate / Energy / Environmental Legislation

FINAL DISPOSITION OF BILLS

⭐️= CCLC Legislation Committee Championed
Click on the bill number to access more details
– Scroll past the status report to see details of each bill this session, as introduced by week

BILLS SUPPORTED BY THE CCLC THAT PASSED

  • ⭐️ HB24-1307 | HVAC Improvements for Public Schools | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • HB24-1030 | Railroad Safety Requirements | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • HB24-1313 | Housing in Transit-Oriented Communities | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • HB24-1370 | Reduce Cost of Use of Natural Gas | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • SB24-005 | Prohibit Landscaping Practices for Water Conservation | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • SB24-207 | Access to Distributed Generation | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • SB24-212 | Local Govs Renewable Energy Projects | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • SB24-218 | Modernize Energy Distribution Systems | SUPPORT | PASSED!

BILLS SUPPORTED BY THE CCLC THAT FAILED

  • HB24-1330 | Air Quality Permitting | SUPPORT | MURDERED by Polis, in a dirty deal with the O&G industry
  • ⭐️ HB24-1359 | Public Notification of Hazardous Chemical Releases | SUPPORT | FAILED! Died in Approps. Will not be back under Polis
  • ⭐️ HB24-1367 | Repeal Sev Tax Exemption for Stripper Wells | SUPPORT | MURDERED by Polis, in a dirty deal with the O&G industry
  • ⭐️ SB24-165 | Air Quality Improvements | SUPPORT | MURDERED by Polis, in a dirty deal with select ‘conservation groups’ and the O&G industry
  • ⭐️ SB24-166 | Air Quality Enforcement | SUPPORT | MURDERED by Polis, in a dirty deal with select ‘conservation groups’ and the O&G industry 
  • SB24-036 | Vulnerable Road User Protection Enterprise | SUPPORT |FAILED!
  • ⭐️ SB24-159 | Mod to Energy & Carbon Management Processes  aka “Phase Out and Clean Up” | SUPPORT | FAILED!
  • HB24-1339 | Disproportionately Impact Community Air Pollution | SUPPORT | DIED in Approps
  • HB24-1352 | Appliance Requirements & Incentives | SUPPORTDIED in Approps
  • HB24-1357 | Pipeline Safety | SUPPORT | DIED in Approps
  • HB24-1366 | Sustainable Local Government Community Planning | SUPPORT | DIED in Approps
  • SB24-152 | Regenerative Agriculture Tax Credit | SUPPORT | DIED in Approps

BILLS OPPOSED BY THE CCLC THAT FAILED

  • SB24-039 | Nuclear Energy as a Clean Energy Resource | OPPOSE | FAILED!
  • SB24-085 | Sales & Use Tax Rebate for Digital Asset Purchases | OPPOSE | FAILED!
  • SB24-095 | Air Quality Ozone Levels | OPPOSE | FAILED!
  • SB24-127 | Regulate Dredged & Fill Material State Waters | OPPOSE |PI’d by sponsor
  • HB24-1246 | Electric Grid Resilience Temporary Carbon Dioxide Regulation | OPPOSE | FAILED

BILLS OPPOSED BY THE CCLC THAT PASSED

  • HB24-1346 | Energy & Carbon Management Regulation | OPPOSE | PASSED!
  • SB24-230 | Oil & Gas Production Fees | OPPOSE | PASSED!

ALL OTHER CLIMATE BILLS THAT PASSED

  • HB24-1006 | Assist Rural Community Wildfire-Related Grant App | PASSED!
  • HB24-1024 | Extend Outreach Campaigns Wildfire Risk Mitigation | PASSED!
  • HB24-1173 | Electric Vehicle Charging System Permits | PASSED!
  • HB24-1249 | Tax Credit Agricultural Stewardship Practices | PASSED!
  • HB24-1338 | Cumulative Impacts & Environmental Justice | PASSED!
  • HB24-1379 | Regulate Dredge & Fill Activities in State Waters | PASSED!
  • HB24-1449 | Environmental Sustainability Circular Economy | PASSED!
  • SB24-032 | Methods to Increase the Use of Transit | PASSED!
  • SB24-150 | Processing of Municipal Solid Waste | PASSED!
  • SB24-185 | Protections Mineral Interest Owners Forced Pooling | PASSED!
  • SB24-229 | Ozone Mitigation Measures | PASSED!
  • HB24-1012 | Front Range Passenger Rail District Efficiency | PASSED!
  • HB24-1304 | Minimum Parking Requirements | PASSED!
  • HB24-1341 | State Vehicle Idling Standard | PASSED!
  • HB24-1362 | Measures to Incentivize Graywater Use | PASSED!
  • SB24-014 | Seal of Climate Literacy Diploma Endorsement | PASSED!
  • SB24-037 | Study Green Infrastructure for Water Quality Mgmt | PASSED!
  • SB24-148 | Precipitation Harvesting Storm Water Detention | PASSED!
  • SB24-081 | Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals | PASSED!
  • SB24-184 | Support Surface Transportation Infrastructure Development | PASSED!
  • SB24-190 | Rail & Coal Transition Community Economic Measures | PASSED!
  • SB24-195 | Protect Vulnerable Road Users | PASSED!
  • SB24-214 | Implement State Climate Goals | PASSED!

ALL OTHER CLIMATE BILLS THAT FAILED

  • HB24-1447 | Transit Reform | DIED in Approps
  • HB24-1178 | Local Government Authority to Regulate Pesticides | FAILED!
  • SB24-009 | Local Government Disaster-Related Programs | DIED in Approps
  • SB24-028 | Study Biochar in Wildfire Mitigation Efforts | DIED in Approps.
  • SB24-038 | Authorize Conservancy District Water Management | FAILED!
  • SB24-092 | Cost Effective Energy Codes | FAILED!
  • SB24-208 | Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Regulate Electricity for Electric Vehicles | FAILED!

Week 16 Ending May 3, 2024

703 Bills Introduced

⭐️= CCLC Legislation Committee Championed

Click on the bill number to access more details

SB24-229 | Ozone Mitigation Measures | Concerning measures to mitigate ozone pollution in the state. | Sponsors: Sens Winter/Priola (plus 11 more Senators), Reps Bacon/Willford (plus 30 more Reps) | Summary: Section 2 of the bill requires the division of administration (division) in the department of public health and environment (department) to propose rules to the air quality control commission (commission) to reduce certain emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) generated by upstream oil and gas operations in certain areas of the state by 50% by 2030 relative to 2017 NOx emission levels between May-September and must begin to consider NOx by 9/30/24. Section 3 requires the division to prepare an annual air quality enforcement benchmark report to summarize the division’s statewide enforcement actions, including civil penalties assessed.

Section 4 repeals limitations on temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions. Section 4 also authorizes a district attorney or the attorney general to seek injunctive relief to reduce the potential for a recurrence of a violation. 

Sections 5 and 6 clarify that the division has authority to impose civil penalties for violations of requirements related to toxic air contaminants, fenceline and community-based monitoring, and, if enacted in House Bill 24-1338, petroleum refinery emissions monitoring. Section 8 authorizes the director of the energy and carbon management commission (ECMC) to hire at least 2 community liaisons to serve as dedicated resources for disproportionately impacted communities, and section 12 authorizes funding of the community liaison positions from the energy and carbon management cash fund.

Under current law, an oil and gas operator (operator) is required to obtain a permit from the ECMC to commence oil and gas drilling operations. Section 9 requires the operator to also obtain from the ECMC a license to conduct oil and gas operations. Section 9 also requires operators to take actions in accordance with ECMC rules to reduce certain emissions of NOx generated from oil and gas production and preproduction operations. The ECMC is also required, in consultation with the department, to adopt rules to require enhanced systems and practices to avoid, minimize, and mitigate emissions of ozone precursors from oil and gas operations at newly permitted oil and gas locations in certain parts of the state. 

Section 10 limits a court’s authority to postpone the effective date of an ECMC order suspending or revoking an operator’s license to conduct oil and gas operations or a certificate of clearance, requiring the court to first consider various factors, including whether the moving party would face real, immediate, and irreparable injury if the effective date is not postponed and the effect that such postponement would have on the public interest. Section 11 expands the ECMC’s enforcement authority to include revoking an operator’s license to conduct oil and gas operations and expands the types of violations that are subject to suspension of all of the operator’s permits and certificates of clearance and the operator’s license to conduct oil and gas operations to include violations resulting in a penalty of $1,000,000 or more, violations that cause a major adverse impact, as defined by the ECMC by rule, and violations that cause death or serious bodily injury. Section 13 expands the scope of the orphaned wells mitigation enterprise to help finance the plugging, reclamation, and remediation of marginal wells and wells in DICs that are at the highest risk of becoming orphaned.

SB24-230 | Oil & Gas Production Fees | Concerning support for statewide remediation services that positively impact the environment. | OPPOSE | Sponsors: Sens Fenberg/Cutter, Reps  McCluskie/Velasco | Summary: The bill requires the clean transit enterprise (enterprise) to impose an O&G production fee for clean transit (production fee for clean transit) to be paid quarterly by every producer of oil and gas in the state (producer). The production fee for clean transit applies to all oil and gas produced by the producer in the state on and after July 1, 2025. No later than one week after October 1, 2025, and no later than one week after the first day of each calendar quarter thereafter, the energy and carbon management commission (ECMC) must calculate the average Henry Hub natural gas spot price reported by the United States energy information administration (average gas spot price) and average west Texas intermediate spot price reported by the United States energy information administration (average oil spot price) for the previous quarter and publish the average gas spot price and average oil spot price on the commission’s website. Prior to adopting the production fee amounts, the enterprise must consult with the ECMC on the production fee amounts.

The state treasurer must first credit the costs to the department of revenue for administering the production fees for clean transit and then credit the remaining production fees for clean transit in the following manner: 70% to the local transit operations cash fund to be used for expanding local transit service and prioritizing transit improvements in certain communities; 10% to the local transit grant program cash fund to be used for providing competitive grants to certain eligible entities for expenses associated with providing public transportation; and 20% to the rail funding program cash fund to be used for passenger rail projects and service.

No later than March 1, 2030, and every 5 years thereafter, the enterprise must complete an analysis of the production fee amounts and post the analysis on the enterprise’s website.

The bill also requires the regional transportation district to prioritize completion of the northwest rail line to Longmont and the north lines of the transportation expansion plan adopted by the regional transportation board (plan). On or before July 1, 2025, the regional transportation district is also required to submit a report to the governor and the general assembly that demonstrates how the regional transportation district will fulfill certain commitments made in the plan.

The bill also requires the division of parks and wildlife (division) to impose a production fee for wildlife and land remediation (production fee for wildlife and land remediation) to be paid quarterly by every producer of oil and gas in the state (producer). The production fee for wildlife and land remediation applies to all oil and gas produced by the producer in the state on and after July 1, 2025. The state treasurer must credit the production fees for wildlife and land remediation in the following manner: First, the costs to the department of revenue for administering the production fees for wildlife and land remediation are credited to the department of revenue; and Second, the remaining amount of production fees for wildlife and land remediation are credited to the climate resilient wildlife and land cash fund to be used for certain wildlife and land remediation purposes. The ECMC is required to routinely provide written guidance to the enterprise and the division on factors relevant to the production fee amounts for the production fee for clean transit and the production fee for wildlife and land remediation.

The bill also establishes: The accrual of interest and penalties for a producer’s failure to pay or correctly account for any production fees for wildlife and land remediation or production fees for clean transit or to keep complete and accurate records.

If a constitutional amendment is adopted at the 2024 statewide general election that requires voter approval of fees assessed for the purpose of funding mass transportation, the bill creates certain definitions that apply to the constitutional amendment.

See the CCLC Statement on our Website’s Homepage

BILL STATUS REPORT

  • HB24-1006 | Assist Rural Community Wildfire-Related Grant App | Passed House, in Senate Approps
  • HB24-1024 | Extend Outreach Campaigns Wildfire Risk Mitigation | Passed House, on Senate Floor
  • HB24-1030 | Railroad Safety Requirements | SUPPORT | Passed House Amended, on Senate Floor
  • HB24-1173 | Electric Vehicle Charging System Permits | Passed House, on Senate Floor
  • HB24-1178 | Local Government Authority to Regulate Pesticides | On House Floor
  • HB24-1249 | Tax Credit Agricultural Stewardship Practices | Passed House, on Senate Floor
  • ⭐️ HB24-1307 | HVAC Improvements for Public Schools | Passed House, on Senate Floor
  • HB24-1313 | Housing in Transit-Oriented Communities | SUPPORT | Passed House, on Senate Floor
  • HB24-1338 | Cumulative Impacts & Environmental Justice | Passed House, Passed Senate Hearing, onto Approps.
  • HB24-1339 | Disproportionately Impact Community Air Pollution | SUPPORT | Passed Hearing Amended, onto Approps
  • HB24-1352 | Appliance Requirements & Incentives | SUPPORT |  Passed Hearing Amended, onto Approps
  • HB24-1357 | Pipeline Safety | SUPPORT | Passed Hearing Amended, onto Approps
  • HB24-1366 | Sustainable Local Government Community Planning | SUPPORT | Passed Hearing, onto Approps
  • HB24-1379 | Regulate Dredge & Fill Activities in State Waters | Passed House, on Senate Floor
  • HB24-1447 | Transit Reform | Passed House, in Senate Approps
  • HB24-1449 | Environmental Sustainability Circular Economy | Passed House, in Senate Approps
  • SB24-009 | Local Government Disaster-Related Programs | Passed Senate Amended, in House Approps.
  • SB24-028 | Study Biochar in Wildfire Mitigation Efforts | Passed Ag Amended, onto Approps.
  • SB24-032 | Methods to Increase the Use of Transit | Passed Senate, on House Floor
  • SB24-150 | Processing of Municipal Solid Waste | Passed Senate, on House Floor
  • SB24-152 | Regenerative Agriculture Tax Credit | SUPPORT | Passed Senate, in  House Approps
  • SB24-185 | Protections Mineral Interest Owners Forced Pooling | Passed Senate, on House Floor
  • SB24-207 | Access to Distributed Generation | SUPPORT | Passed Senate, on House Floor
  • SB24-212 | Local Govs Renewable Energy Projects | SUPPORT | Passed Senate, in House Approps
  • SB24-214 | Implement State Climate Goals | Passed Senate Amended, in House Approps
  • SB24-218 | Modernize Energy Distribution Systems | Passed Senate, on House Floor
  • SB24-229 | Ozone Mitigation Measures | Passed Senate, on House Floor
  • SB24-230 | Oil & Gas Production Fees | OPPOSE | Passed Senate, on House Floor

FINAL DISPOSITION OF BILLS

  • HB24-1012 | Front Range Passenger Rail District Efficiency | PASSED!
  • HB24-1246 | Electric Grid Resilience Temporary Carbon Dioxide Regulation | OPPOSE | FAILED! (Postponed Indefinitely AKA PI’d.  See ya next session!)
  • HB24-1304 | Minimum Parking Requirements | PASSED!
  • HB24-1330 | Air Quality Permitting | SUPPORT | MURDERED by Polis, in a dirty deal with select ‘conservation groups’ and the O&G industry
  • HB24-1341 | State Vehicle Idling Standard | PASSED!
  • ⭐️ HB24-1359 | Public Notification of Hazardous Chemical Releases | SUPPORT | FAILED! Will die in Approps without a hearing, will not be back under Polis
  • HB24-1346 | Energy & Carbon Management Regulation | OPPOSE | PASSED!
  • HB24-1362 | Measures to Incentivize Graywater Use | PASSED!
  • ⭐️ HB24-1367 | Repeal Sev Tax Exemption for Stripper Wells | SUPPORT | MURDERED by Polis, in a dirty deal with select ‘conservation groups’ and the O&G industry
  • HB24-1370 | Reduce Cost of Use of Natural Gas | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • SB24-005 | Prohibit Landscaping Practices for Water Conservation | SUPPORT | PASSED!
  • SB24-014 | Seal of Climate Literacy Diploma Endorsement | PASSED!
  • SB24-036 | Vulnerable Road User Protection Enterprise | SUPPORT |FAILED!
  • SB24-037 | Study Green Infrastructure for Water Quality Mgmt | PASSED!
  • SB24-038 | Authorize Conservancy District Water Management | FAILED!
  • SB24-039 | Nuclear Energy as a Clean Energy Resource | OPPOSE | FAILED!
  • SB24-085 | Sales & Use Tax Rebate for Digital Asset Purchases | OPPOSE | FAILED!
  • SB24-095 | Air Quality Ozone Levels | Concerning measures to address ozone levels in areas that do not meet federal ozone national ambient air quality standards. | PASSED!
  • SB24-095 | Air Quality Ozone Levels | OPPOSE | Passed Senate
  • SB24-127 | Regulate Dredged & Fill Material State Waters | OPPOSE | Passed Hearing Amended, will die in Approps
  • SB24-148 | Precipitation Harvesting Storm Water Detention | PASSED!
  • SB24-081 | Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyl Chemicals | PASSED!
  • SB24-092 | Cost Effective Energy Codes | FAILED!
  • ⭐️ SB24-159 | Mod to Energy & Carbon Management Processes  aka “Phase Out and Clean Up” | SUPPORT | FAILED!
  • ⭐️ SB24-165 | Air Quality Improvements | SUPPORT | MURDERED by Polis, in a dirty deal with select ‘conservation groups’ and the O&G industry
  • ⭐️ SB24-166 | Air Quality Enforcement | SUPPORT | MURDERED by Polis, in a dirty deal with select ‘conservation groups’ and the O&G industry 
  • SB24-184 | Support Surface Transportation Infrastructure Development | PASSED!
  • SB24-190 | Rail & Coal Transition Community Economic Measures | PASSED!
  • SB24-195 | Protect Vulnerable Road Users | PASSED!
  • SB24-208 | Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Regulate Electricity for Electric Vehicles | FAILED!

Week 15 Ending April 26, 2024
693 Bills Introduced

  • 10 DAYS LEFT IN THE SESSION!
  • 39 Climate bills still in play; 
  • Zero Climate bills passed or failed last week;
  • 22 Climate bills languishing in Approps; (A marked improvement from a week ago!)
  • 6 on the House floor and not yet in the Senate; 
  • 5 passed the House but awaiting their first hearing in the Senate; 
  • 3 on the Senate floor, 2 of which have already passed the House; 
  • 7 Senate bills awaiting their first House hearing

Click on the bill number to access more details

SB24-212 | Local Govs Renewable Energy Projects | Concerning measures to facilitate the construction of renewable energy projects. | Sponsors: Hansen/Fenberg | Summary: The bill requires the energy and carbon management commission in the department of natural resources, at the request of a local government or tribal government, to provide technical support concerning: The development of local codes governing wind, solar, energy storage, and energy transmission projects (renewable energy projects); or The review of proposed renewable energy projects.

For all renewable energy projects, at the request of an owner or operator of a renewable energy facility (facility owner), local government, or tribal government, the division of parks and wildlife shall provide the facility owner, local government, or tribal government a set of best management practices for renewable energy projects. The best management practices may be incorporated into project plans at the discretion of the facility owner, local government, or tribal government. The division shall also identify project-specific habitat impacts and high-priority habitats based on the best available science.

The bill requires the Colorado energy office, in cooperation with the department of local affairs and the department of natural resources, to develop a repository of model codes and ordinances for renewable energy projects for the purpose of providing conceptual frameworks that local governments and tribal governments may consider and adapt to suit local circumstances and address local energy resources. On or before September 30, 2025, the Colorado energy office must submit to the general assembly a report that evaluates local government processes to determine whether reasonable pathways for renewable energy siting exist in areas with suitable wind and solar resources.

🚨 SB24-214 | Implement State Climate Goals | Concerning the implementation of state climate goals. | Sponsors: Sen Hansen, Reps Amabile/McCormick | Summary: Section 1 of the bill creates the office of sustainability in the department of personnel (department). The office of sustainability is required to work with state agencies and institutions of higher education to implement environmentally sustainable practices. The powers, duties, and functions of the office of sustainability include: Providing leadership to and requiring accountability from state agencies regarding ongoing sustainability initiatives; Developing baseline metrics and goals for reduction of negative environmental impacts and tracking state agencies’ performance in achieving the goals; Tracking the amount of money the state saves as a result of implementing sustainable practices; Seeking and applying for federal funding and other grant opportunities that would support sustainable practices within state agencies; Assisting state agencies in implementing sustainable procurement methods and introducing options for environmentally preferable products or services to state agencies; Assisting state agencies in installing energy-efficient equipment and fixtures; Assisting state agencies in meeting building performance standards such as those administered by the Colorado energy office; Coordinating and assisting in planning and constructing state agencies’ electric vehicle charging infrastructure and ensuring utilization of such infrastructure; Instituting water reduction initiatives, including but not limited to the installation of water-conserving fixtures and plants on state property; Assisting state agencies in transitioning from gas-powered to electric equipment; Implementing statewide waste diversion practices to increase state agencies’ recycling rates; Developing commuting opportunities for state employees that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution; Assisting state agencies in developing training programs to educate state employees on sustainable practices; and Conducting other activities as directed by the general assembly or the governor.

The bill creates the state agency sustainability revolving fund (revolving fund) and directs the state treasurer to transfer $540,230 from the general fund to the revolving fund. The bill specifies that the office of sustainability may use the money in the revolving fund for the purposes of operating the office and replacing the state’s gas- and diesel-powered equipment located in ozone nonattainment areas as designated by the U.S. environmental protection agency.

In addition, the bill requires the office of sustainability to review and coordinate state agencies’ applications for elective pay funding available under the federal “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” (act), and to work with the office of the state controller to coordinate central submissions of elective pay applications by advising and assisting state agencies in submitting and centrally filing those applications and by providing technical assistance to state agencies on elective pay. The bill also creates the inflation reduction act elective pay cash fund (cash fund), which consists of money received by the department pursuant to the elective pay provisions of the act, all of which must be deposited into the cash fund to be used for the purposes of the office.

Section 2 specifies that the office of sustainability is a type 2 entity under the administrative organization act. Section 3 makes several clarifications regarding the geothermal energy grant program (grant program), including specifying that: The grant program applies to both heating-only and combined heating and cooling systems; At least 25% of the grant money must be awarded to eligible entities from or projects in low-income, disproportionately impacted, or just transition communities; and The Colorado energy office may utilize grant program money to support education, outreach, and engagement with the general public and relevant stakeholders to facilitate the growth of the geothermal sector and awareness of relevant state programs in Colorado.

Section 4 extends the deadline for the energy code board to develop a model low energy and carbon code and specifies that the model low energy and carbon code can include appendices and resources to the international energy conservation code. Section 5 decreases the amount of money the Colorado energy office can issue in grants to local governments to support their adoption and enforcement of the 2021 international energy conservation code, an electric ready and solar ready code, and a low energy and carbon code by $125,000 and increases the amount the treasurer is required to transfer into the energy fund to $275,000. Section 6 clarifies that, for purposes of the industrial clean energy tax credit, an industrial study includes a pre-front-end or front-end engineering design study that meets or exceeds the standards established by the Colorado energy office or any other industrial studies as outlined in program standards, and that an owner includes a project developer. Section 6 also increases the amount of the credit that can be claimed to $8 million, and specifies that an owner that claims the industrial clean energy tax credit cannot, for the same greenhouse gas emission reduction improvements, claim the enterprise zone investment tax credit or receive grant money under the industrial and manufacturing operations clean air grant program. Section 9 clarifies the definition of “air-source heat pump system” pursuant to the heat pump technology and thermal energy network tax credit and allows the Colorado energy office to review and modify more credit amounts and create certificate maximums related to the heat pump technology and thermal energy network tax credit. Section 10 clarifies that certain provisions related to the clean hydrogen tax credit are subject to rules adopted by the public utilities commission.

🚨 SB24-218 | Modernize Energy Distribution Systems | Concerning measures to modernize energy distribution systems. | Sponsors: Sens Hansen/Fenberg, Reps Duran/Brown | Summary: The bill requires the office of future of work to create a grant program, in coordination with the Colorado energy office, for lineworker apprenticeship programs. On July 1, 2024, the state treasurer must transfer $800,000 from the general fund to the Colorado lineworker apprenticeship grant program cash fund, which is created in the bill, for the purposes of the grant program.

The bill also requires an investor-owned electric utility that serves 500,000 customers or more in the state (qualifying retail utility) to upgrade the qualifying retail utility’s distribution systems as necessary to support the: Achievement of the state’s beneficial and transportation electrification and decarbonization goals; and Implementation of federal, state, regional, and local air quality and decarbonization targets, standards, plans, and regulations (decarbonization targets and standards).

In connection with these goals and decarbonization targets and standards, a qualifying retail utility is required to: Commence a data collection process to inform future energization timelines; Adopt certain cost caps; Propose to the public utilities commission (commission) the use of an optional flexible interconnection or energization tariff or phased interconnection or energization agreement by a customer as an alternative to system upgrades that would otherwise be required for interconnection or energization; and Establish a procedure for customers with a hybrid facility to complete the interconnection and energization process through a single application.

A qualifying retail utility is required to identify interconnection and load hosting capacity for distributed energy resources for disproportionately impacted communities within its service territory.

Prior to the establishment of the grid modernization adjustment clause, a qualifying retail utility shall recover forecasted investments placed into service and costs incurred for certain capital investment and operations and maintenance expenses (distribution activities) for a period of time ending on December 31, 2025. Recovery of the costs associated with the distribution activities must occur through the transmission cost adjustment clause or another existing adjustment clause, subject to certain conditions.

Current law requires certain utilities to file a distribution system plan (plan) with the commission. The bill also requires the plans of a qualifying retail utility to create sufficient hosting capacity across its electrical distribution system to support the implementation of the decarbonization targets and standards and certain other laws, rules, plans, and policies.

In developing a plan, a qualifying retail utility must consult with and provide compensated opportunities to disproportionately impacted communities.

The commission must open a rule-making to consider and establish rules regarding energization timelines; interconnection, energization, and electrification of end uses; and maximum individual cost caps or fees.

Subject to commission review and approval, a qualifying retail utility is required to recover certain projected costs related to distribution activities as part of the qualifying retail utility’s plans. If the commission finds that the distribution activities benefit or advance the decarbonization targets and standards or state energy policy goals, recovery of the costs must occur through the grid modernization adjustment clause. For distribution system activities that do not benefit or advance the decarbonization targets and standards or state energy policy goals, recovery of the costs may occur through the grid modernization adjustment clause if the qualifying retail utility meets the criteria established in the performance-based framework in the qualifying retail utility’s approved plan. A qualifying retail utility is required to make an annual grid modernization adjustment clause advice letter filing with the commission no later than November 1 of each year with an effective date of January 1 of the subsequent year.

No later than February 1, 2025, a qualifying retail utility is required to create and file with the commission an application to implement a virtual power plant program, including a tariff for performance-based compensation for a qualified virtual power plant. The virtual power plant program and tariff must include and implement certain requirements. A qualifying retail utility may apply to recover certain business costs to facilitate a virtual power plant program through the grid modernization adjustment clause.

By January 1, 2025, a qualifying retail utility is required to file a plan with the commission to implement programs for the undergrounding of utility distribution infrastructure (undergrounding) in nonfranchised areas in the state using 1% of an area’s gross electric revenues from the prior year. A qualifying retail utility must also consider the public benefit of undergrounding in its plans.

Love this bill! Also love the focus on creating apprenticeships to bring a lot more lineman into the workforce, because we really need them. The devil is in the details, though, and I would recommend that our members who devote lots of time to the workings of the PUC read the bill carefully, particularly sections sub(4) beginning on page 16 and sub(VI) beginning on page 24. The VPP clauses are in sub(8) on page 32—including the first ever use of the term “Prosumers” in CO state legislation! For those new(er) to the wonderful world of distributed energy resources, virtual power plants, and non-wires alternatives, I recommend reading Section 1—which is the legislative declaration and gives you a sense of what is intended with this bill—and Section 2, which provides the definitions and helps educate you on all the terminology. I’m not an expert on what other states are doing in the VPP/DERs space, but this feels like a nation-leading piece of legislation to me! I also really appreciate the requirement to underground the lines.

Since Polis has butchered the ozone bills, I believe this bill is the signature bill of the session.

Week 14 Ending April 19, 2024

670 Bills Introduced

⭐️= CCLC Legislation Committee Championed

Click on the bill number to access more details

HB24-1304 | Minimum Parking Requirements | Concerning parking requirements within metropolitan planning organizations. | Sponsors: | Summary: The bill prohibits a county or municipality, on or after January 1, 2025 June 30, 2025 , from enforcing minimum parking requirements for real property that is within a metropolitan planning organization. This prohibition does not prohibit a county or municipality from: Lowering the protections provided for persons with disabilities; Preventing a county or municipality from enacting or enforcing a maximum parking requirement; or Enforcing any agreement made in connection with a land use approval to provide regulated affordable housing in exchange for reducing minimum parking requirements; Being awarded funding for affordable housing that requires a ratio of a certain number of parking spaces; Preventing a county or municipality from enacting or enforcing a minimum parking requirement for bicycles; or The bill also allows a municipality or county, on or after January 1, 2025 December 31, 2025 , to impose the following requirements on a motor vehicle parking space that is voluntarily provided in connection with a development project that the owners of such a motor vehicle parking space charge for the use of the space; That the owner of such a parking space contribute to a parking enterprise, permitting system, or shared parking plan; and That such a parking space allow for electric vehicle charging stations in accordance with existing law.

HB24-1447 | Transit Reform | Concerning transit reform, and, in connection therewith, modifying the duties and composition of the board of directors of the regional transportation district, requiring the department of transportation to implement a bus driver training program, requiring transit providers to coordinate with metropolitan planning organizations on certain matters, and modifying the allowable use of money transferred to the department of transportation in connection with the redevelopment of the Burnham Yard rail property.

HB24-1449 | Environmental Sustainability Circular Economy | Concerning measures to improve sustainability services through the department of public health and environment, and, in connection therewith, updating the “Pollution Prevention Act of 1992”. | Sponsors: Reps Joseph/Lindsay, Sens Cutter/Priola || Summary: Section 1 of the bill replaces the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board, the Recycling Resources, Economic Opportunity Program, and the Front Range Waste Diversion Enterprise and with the Colorado Circular Communities Enterprise and the Statewide Voluntary Sustainability Program. Under current law, user fees are imposed on operators of attended solid waste disposal sites (operators) to finance the recycling resources economic opportunity program and the front range waste diversion enterprise. Section 2 applies those fees to the enterprise, requiring operators of sites located outside of the front range to pay a fee of either 2 or 4 cents per load transported for disposal and requiring operators of sites located in the front range, between July 1, 2024, and December 31, 2024, to pay a fee of 74 cents per cubic yard per load transported for disposal and, on and after January 1, 2025, to pay a fee of 78 cents per cubic yard per load transported for disposal.

SB24-207 | Access to Distributed Generation | Concerning access to distributed energy, and, in connection therewith, establishing requirements for the development of inclusive community solar capacity that investor-owned electric utilities must make available to utility customers and requiring the acquisition of distributed generation facilities paired with energy storage. | Sponsors: | Summary: Before February 1, 2027, Xcel and Black Hills must make an additional 50 megawatts of inclusive community solar capacity available, plus any unclaimed capacity left over from the previous allocation cycle, and all other utilities must make an additional 4 megawatts of inclusive community solar available. Must also reserve at least 51% of its capacity for income-qualified subscribers; Not allocate more than 40% of the new facility’s capacity to a single subscriber; and Supply to a subscriber of the new facility no more than 120% of the expected average annual total consumption of electricity by the subscriber. Avoid discrimination by prohibiting use of credit scores or utility deposits, sign up/termination fees or transfers from qualifying. Also provides low-income customers at least 25% of the value of the community solar bill credit; 30% of the value of the community solar bill credit if the new facility receives federal tax credits from the federal “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” for the specific purpose of being located in an energy community; and 50% of the value of the community solar bill credit if the new facility receives federal tax credits from the federal “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” specifically for providing income-qualified households with utility bill assistance. Xcel/Black Hills must acquire 50 megawatts of distributed generation paired with energy storage by June 1, 2026, and an additional 50 megawatts of distributed generation paired with energy storage between January 1, 2027, and June 1, 2027.

SB24-208 | Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Regulate Electricity for Electric Vehicles | Concerning standardization of electric vehicle charging stations, and, in connection therewith, establishing the electric vehicle enterprise and the electric vehicle enterprise special revenue fund. | Sponsors: | Summary: The bill creates the electric vehicle enterprise in the department of labor and employment. The bill authorizes the enterprise to impose and collect a fee beginning July 1, 2025, to be paid by each electric vehicle charging station retailer based on the total number of retail electric vehicle charging stations operated by the retailer and the total number of power supply devices used at such stations. The bill requires the enterprise, in consultation with the Colorado energy office to establish minimum standards related to specifications and tolerances for retail electric vehicle charging equipment

Week 13 Ending April 5, 2024

639 Bills Introduced

SB24-190 | Rail & Coal Transition Community Economic Measures | Concerning economic measures related to coal transition communities, and, in connection therewith, creating an income tax credit for qualified costs incurred in the use of certain freight rail lines; creating an income tax credit for qualified costs incurred in the maintenance, operation, and improvement of certain rail lines; expanding the rural opportunity office’s duties in relation to coal transition communities; allowing coal transition communities to qualify as enterprise zones and enhanced rural enterprise zones; restricting the length of contracts that allow use of the Moffat tunnel; and restricting the ability to purchase real property interests of the Moffat tunnel improvement district. | Sponsors: Sen Roberts, Reps Lukens/McCluskie | Summary: Pursue opportunities for new, early state, and existing businesses and support business and industry development and economic diversification in coordination with workforce training opportunities and existing state and federal programs that are designed for coal transition communities. Creates 2 income tax credits.The first income tax credit created in section 5 is a fully refundable income tax credit (freight tax credit)  of $5 million 1/1/25-36 the the office may issue the taxpayer a tax credit certificate in an amount equal to 75% of the relevant costs both stated in the taxpayer’s tax credit application and incurred by the taxpayer. The second income tax credit created in section 5 is also a fully refundable income tax credit, which incentivizes railroad operators to maintain rail line access to coal transition communities.

SB24-195 | Protect Vulnerable Road Users | Concerning protection of vulnerable road users. | Sponsors: Sens Winter/Cutter, Reps Lindsay/Lindstedt | Summary: Section 1 of the bill amends the statute that governs the use of automated vehicle identification systems (AVIS) on roadways  and authorizes CDOT, in consultation with the CSP, to promulgate rules, including rules governing the process by which use of AVIS is approved or disapproved, rules governing the AVIS enforcement process, and rules setting the amount of civil penalties, including increased civil penalties for traffic violations detected by AVIS that occur in work zones or school zones, for traffic violation detected by AVIS used by the state. Requires civil penalties collected by the state for traffic violations detected by AVIS, net of court and operations costs, to be credited to the state highway fund and used only to fund road safety projects that protect vulnerable road users. Section 2 requires CDOT to establish and include declining annual targets for vulnerable road user fatalities and requires accounting for eligible critical safety-related asset management surface transportation infrastructure projects and as determined by the transportation commission, to expend a specified minimum amount of the money credited to the state highway fund from the road safety surcharge and certain other fees, fines, and surcharges that are imposed on motor vehicle registrations and dedicated for certain types of road safety projects that protect vulnerable road users.

Week 12 Ending March 29, 202

620 Bills Introduced

NO NEW BILLS!

Week 11 Ending March 22, 2024

569 Bills Introduced

HB24-1379 | Regulate Dredge & Fill Activities in State Waters | Concerning the regulation of state waters in response to recent federal court action. | Sponsors: Reps McCluskie/McCormick, Sen Roberts | Summary:  The bill requires the water quality control commission (WQCD) in the CDPHE to promulgate rules by May 31, 2025, as necessary to implement a state dredge and fill discharge authorization program. The rules must be at least as protective as the guidelines developed pursuant to section 404 (b)(1) of the federal “Clean Water Act”. The bill establishes duties for the division in administering the program, as follows: Compensatory mitigation is required in all individual authorizations and in general authorizations where unavoidable adverse impacts to wetlands will affect over one-tenth of an acre or, for streams, where unavoidable adverse impacts greater than the threshold established by the commission by rule will occur. Compensatory mitigation may be accomplished through the purchase of mitigation bank credits, an in-lieu fee program, or project-proponent-responsible mitigation. Until the rules become effective: The division’s Clean Water Policy 17, “Enforcement of Unpermitted Discharges of Dredged and Fill Material into State Waters”, continues to be effective; Temporary authorizations must include conditions necessary to protect the public health and the environment and to meet the intent of the bill. The bill clarifies that “state waters” includes wetlands.

SB24-184 | Support Surface Transportation Infrastructure Development | Concerning support for the development of surface transportation infrastructure, and, in connection therewith, providing funding and operational flexibility needed to support the development of transit and rail infrastructure. |Sponsors: Fenberg/Marchman, McCluskie/Boesenecker | Summary: The bill expands the Transportation Enterprise capacity to execute its charge and more explicitly prioritize mitigation of traffic congestion and traffic-related pollution through the completion of multimodal surface transportation infrastructure projects as follows: Authorizes the transportation enterprise to impose a congestion impact fee, as a new user fee, in maximum amounts of up to $3 per day on the short-term rental of a motor vehicle that is powered by an internal combustion engine and up to $2 per day for a motor vehicle that is a battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle; Clarifies that providing diverse multimodal transportation options, including rail projects, that reduce traffic congestion and degradation of existing surface transportation infrastructure is part of the enterprise’s charge; Requires the transportation enterprise to develop a new multimodal strategic capital plan that aligns with the 10-year transportation plan of the Colorado department of transportation (CDOT) and statewide greenhouse gas pollution reduction goals and priorities, complies with specified environmental standards adopted by the transportation commission, and prioritizes benefits to user fee payers and the reduction of adverse impacts on highways; complete an initial assessment of opportunities to leverage federal money; Authorizes the regional transportation district (RTD) to extend construction and operations of its northwest rail fixed guideway corridor beyond its boundaries, including an extension of the corridor to Fort Collins as the first phase of front range passenger rail service in order to gain the opportunity to access federal intercity rail service money and requires CDOT/RTD to complete of construction and operation of the RTD’s northwest fixed guideway corridor, including an extension of the corridor to Fort Collins as the first phase of front range passenger rail service.

SB24-185 | Protections Mineral Interest Owners Forced Pooling | Concerning protections for unleased mineral interest owners in the pooling of mineral interests by the Colorado energy and carbon management commission. | Sponsors: Sen Fenberg, Rep Amabile | Summary: Under current law, allows the ECMC to enter an order pooling the mineral interests of those tracts (pooling order) for the development and operation of the unit if the applicant for the pooling order: Owns more than 45% of the mineral interests in the unit (requisite ownership); or Obtains the consent of the owners of more than 45% of the mineral interests in the unit. The bill changes current law by: Requiring that a pooling order application include an affidavit that declares that the applicant has the requisite ownership or obtained the requisite consent (declaration), which affidavit must include certain leasing and well information; Allowing an unleased mineral interest owner at least 60 days before the first noticed hearing date, to file a protest with the commission disputing the applicant’s declaration (protest); prohibiting an oil and gas operator from drilling of minerals not voluntarily pooled;  Prohibiting the commission from entering a pooling order that pools the mineral if the unleased owner is a local government that has rejected an offer to lease and the minerals subject to the unleased owner’s mineral interests are within the local government’s geographic boundaries (local government unleased interest)

Week 10 Ending March 15, 2024
556 Bills Introduced

⭐️= CCLC Legislation Committee Championed

Click on the bill number to access more details

HB24-1366 | Sustainable Local Government Community Planning | Concerning sustainable local government community planning. | Sponsors: Reps Froelich/Brown | Summary: Beginning 1/1/25, upon updating a county or municipal master plan, a county or municipality (local government) to include a climate action element in its master plan. A climate action element must include climate-related goals, plans, or strategies and a description of any money received for the implementation. Requires CDOT to coordinate with metropolitan planning organizations to establish criteria that define growth corridors and identify these growth corridors. Having identified these growth corridors, the department and metropolitan planning organizations shall coordinate with local governments to develop transportation demand management plans for these growth corridors. The bill requires the statewide transportation plan to include: The identification of highway segments where promotion of context-sensitive highway permitting and design can encourage the development of dense, walkable, and mixed-use neighborhoods in transit-oriented centers and neighborhood centers; and An emphasis on integrating planning efforts within CDOT to support multimodal transportation, neighborhood centers, and transit-oriented centers in infill areas as well as growth corridors through the associated transportation demand management corridor planning. Requires CDOT to conduct a study of state highways that pass through locally identified transit-oriented centers and neighborhood centers that are candidates for context-sensitive design, complete streets, and pedestrian-bicycle safety measures.

⭐️ HB24-1367 | Repeal Sev Tax Exemption for Stripper Wells | Concerning the repeal of the severance tax exemption for Oil and Gas wells that are stripper wells. | Sponsors: Rep Kipp, Sen Winter | Summary: Oil produced from wells that on average produce 15 barrels per day or less of oil and gas produced from wells that on average produce 90,000 cubic feet or less per day of gas are commonly referred to as stripper wells and are currently exempt from the state severance tax. Section 2 of the bill repeals the stripper well severance tax exemption beginning in 2025 and removes outdated language applicable only to taxable years prior to 2000.

That’s it! Every well pays its fair share of taxes, regardless of how much or how little it produces. Regardless of whether it’s an oil well, a gas well, or both. You drill in Colorado, you pay your taxes. Small businesses have to pay taxes, we have to pay taxes, everybody pays taxes.  Oil & Gas must pay taxes too.

HB24-1370 | Reduce Cost of Use of Natural Gas | Concerning measures to reduce the cost of use of natural gas infrastructure. | Sponsors: Reps Kipp/Willford | Summary: The bill requires the Colorado energy office to issue a request for information by December 1, 2024, to solicit interest from local governments that are served by a dual-fuel utility (utility) in becoming a gas planning priority community (community). A gas planning priority community is defined in the bill as a local government in which constituents have gas service provided by a dual-fuel utility that formally indicates an interest in working with the utility to mutually explore opportunities for neighborhood-scale alternatives projects. A neighborhood-scale alternatives project geographically targets decommissioning of a portion of the gas distribution system or avoids expanding the gas distribution system in order to serve new construction projects and provides substitute energy service to buildings within the project area that is cost-effective and reduces future greenhouse gas emissions required to serve buildings. The Colorado energy office and the utility must also file a draft agreement between the utility and a proposed community to identify and pursue a neighborhood-scale alternatives project. The commission must approve or modify the list of proposed communities by June 30, 2025. The bill requires the utility to work with an approved community to rank neighborhood-scale alternatives projects and, before June 1, 2026, to submit at least one neighborhood-scale alternatives project in each community to the commission for approval or an explanation of why no neighborhood-scale alternatives project will be pursued in a community. The commission must allow the utility to recover costs incurred from the implementation of a neighborhood-scale alternatives project.

Week 9 Ending March 8, 2024

544 Bills Introduced 

Click on the bill number to access more details

HB24-1357 | Pipeline Safety | Concerning measures to promote safety in the distribution of natural gas. | Sponsors: Reps Story/Brown, Sen Priola | Summary: The bill clarifies current law by requiring the commission’s mapping requirements for all pipelines within its jurisdiction to be available at a scale of 1 to 6,000 or greater. On or before December 31, 2024, the PUC must adopt rules that require: An owner or operator of a transmission line, a distribution system, or a gathering line (owner) to use advanced leak detection technology in accordance with certain requirements; An owner to repair grade 1 gas leaks immediately upon detection, grade 2 gas leaks no later than 60 days after detection, and grade 3 gas leaks no later than one year after detection; and That all pipeline road and railroad crossings are inspected with advanced leak detection technology on a monthly basis for damage caused from traffic. The bill also requires a section of pipeline that has not been used for 2 or more years to be removed or abandoned in place. The bill also requires the PUC to develop a user-friendly, public-facing website for pipeline safety data in the state. The website must include the location, date, and owner or operator for the following data: Reportable safety events; Violations; Compliance actions; Pipeline inspection data; and How to access the mapping of pipelines within the commission’s jurisdiction. Current law provides that any person that violates certain pipeline safety laws is subject to a penalty of up to $200,000 dollars per violation. The bill changes this maximum penalty to $500,000 per violation. The amount of the penalty must also be no less than $5,000 for each day of a violation and, in the event that the commission deems that the penalty is necessary for the protection of public health, safety, welfare, the environment, or wildlife resources, no less than $15,000 per day of a violation. Beginning in 2026, the commission is required to adjust the penalty amounts for inflation every 2 years. Except with respect to an owner or operator of a distribution system serving fewer than 1,000 customers in the state, the commission is prohibited from reducing a penalty based on the factors by more than 15% and the violator is required to conduct certain compliance actions before a reduction occurs.

⭐️ HB24-1359 | Public Notification of Hazardous Chemical Releases | Concerning measures to increase public knowledge of hazardous chemicals released through oil and gas operations. | Sponsors: Reps Hamrick/Velasco, Sens Cutter/Jazquez Lewis | Summary: Current rules of the energy and carbon management commission (ECMC) require oil and gas operators to submit spill & release reports to the commission in the event of a spill or release of a hazardous chemical. The bill enacts the “Community Right to Know Act” to create additional notification requirements in the event of an incident. On and after July 1, 2024, oil and gas operators must, within 24 hours after the discovery of an incident, submit a covered report to the ECMC. Within 24 hours after the receipt of a covered report from an oil and gas operator, a notification agency must: Confirm with the oil and gas operator that the oil and gas operator has provided the covered report to any affected persons; Provide the covered report to any affected persons that have not yet received a covered report from the oil and gas operator; Provide the covered report to the county public health department and the county emergency notification party. On and after July 1, 2025, no later than 24 hours after the receipt of a covered report for a certain heightened level of an incident (warning-level covered report) from a notification agency, if the county public health department has an existing opt-in notification system, the county public health department must notify medical professionals in the county that have opted in to the county public health department’s notification system about the incident. On and after July 1, 2025, no later than 24 hours after the receipt of a warning-level covered report from a notification agency, the county emergency notification party must: If the county has an existing opt-in public emergency notification system, notify all individuals residing in the county that have opted in; and If the county does not have an existing opt-in public emergency notification system but has an existing public emergency notification system, notify all individuals residing in the county. The bill also creates the hazardous chemical notification committee in DOLA. On or before July 1, 2025, the committee is required to develop content for a hazardous chemical notification website (website) that includes certain informational and educational content about hazardous chemicals, including short-term and long-term adverse health impacts, and an entry for each report received by the designated person on and after July 1, 2025.  On or before July 1, 2025, and each calendar year thereafter, county public health departments and county emergency notification parties are required to provide a training to medical professionals and the public on the short-term and long-term adverse health impacts of exposure to hazardous chemicals and the notification requirements (training requirement). The bill also: Creates a $1,000 per day penalty for an oil and gas operator that does not comply with the notification requirements (violation); and Provides that if an oil and gas operator commits a violation 3 or more times, the oil and gas operator may not claim a waiver of liability for damages related to the third or subsequent violation.

HB24-1362 | Measures to Incentivize Graywater Use | Concerning measures to promote the use of graywater. | Sponsors: Reps Lukens/Catlin, Sens Roberts/Simpson (Bi-Partisan) | Summary: The bill authorizes the installation of graywater treatment works and the use of graywater statewide; except that a local government: May adopt an ordinance or a resolution prohibiting the installation of graywater treatment works or the use of all graywater or categories of graywater use within its jurisdiction; and Shall notify the division of administration in the department of public health and environment of any such local ordinance or resolution adopted. To incentivize the installation of graywater treatment works within a residential building for indoor water reuse, the bill also creates a state income tax credit that allows a taxpayer to claim a credit up to 50% of the cost of such an installation or up to $5,000, whichever amount is less.

WEEK 8 ENDING FEBRUARY MARCH 1, 2024

523 Bills Introduced

Click on the bill number to access more details

HB24-1338 | Cumulative Impacts & Environmental Justice | Concerning measures to advance environmental justice by reducing cumulative impacts of air pollution. | Sponsors: Rutinel/Velasco, Sen Janet | Summary: Section 2 of the bill creates the office of environmental justice in the CDPHE and section 1 requires the office to oversee a process to develop at least 2 EECIAs(Environmental Equity and Cumulative Impact Analysis) for specific geographic locations in the state. Once an EECIA is developed, various state agencies will be able to rely on the EECIA in conducting cumulative impact analyses regarding potentially polluting activities. The office must choose as locations for the EECIAs communities that are disproportionately impacted communities, with priority given to communities that have a heightened potential for widespread human exposure to environmental contaminants. CDPHE must contract with an academic institution or other third party to develop an EECIA. In developing an EECIA, the applicable contractor must perform a scientifically rigorous analysis that includes most of the recommendations made by the EJ task force. Section 4 authorizes the elected officials of an LG (Local Government) to request that the air quality control commission (AQCC) impose limits on any new or increased operational emissions of certain health-related air pollutants that would affect individuals located in the LG. To obtain approval of such a request, the LG must demonstrate to the commission’s satisfaction that: The geographic region of the LG is cumulatively impacted by pollution; and An agency of the LG has a process to review exemption requests from the limits on any new or increased operational emissions. An approved request for limits expires after 5 years and the LG must renew its request to further continue the limits. The AQCC may rescind its approval of the limits if it determines that the LG is not complying with its own processes regarding the limits. CDPHE is required under section 5 to hire a petroleum refinery regulation expert to examine whether a specific petroleum refinery rule should be adopted by the commission and examine other regulatory or nonregulatory measures performed. Section 5 requires a petroleum refinery in the state to comply with certain monitoring requirements to provide real-time emissions monitoring data to the division (not to the public). Section 5 also requires the division to establish a rapid response inspection team to respond quickly to air quality complaints received. Once the team is established, the team is required to develop processes and best practices for quickly responding to such complaints and to engage in outreach to communities regarding events and conditions that lead to excess air pollution emissions in communities.

🚨HB24-1339 | Disproportionately Impact Community Air Pollution | Concerning measures to be taken by the air quality control commission to reduce air pollution in the state. Sponsors: Reps Weissman/Rutinel, Sen Winter | Summary: Under current law, the air quality control commission (AQCC) consists of 9 members. As of October 1, 2024, section 2 of the bill increases the membership of the commission to 11 members to include: One member who represents a disproportionately impacted community and the interests of communities of color and who does not derive income from an entity that the commission regulates; and One climate scientist employed by an organization that does not derive income from an entity that the commission regulates. Under current law, the commission is required to adopt rules regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the industrial and manufacturing sector (sector). Section 3 requires the commission to adopt rules, to be implemented by January 1, 2025, that:

  • Prohibit GHG emissions from the sector from increasing in the near term and require sector-wide emissions not to exceed 97 million metric tons of total carbon dioxide equivalent cumulatively between 2025 and 2030;
  • Prohibit a sector source from complying with GHG emissions compliance obligations by making a payment unless the payment is made in exchange for GHG credit that is surrendered as part of a GHG credit trading program; and
  • Establish source-specific GHG emission reduction requirements that must be met through direct reductions of GHG emissions for a sector source that adversely affects a disproportionately impacted community.

HB24-1341 | State Vehicle Idling Standard | Concerning the state idling standard, and, in connection therewith, authorizing a local government to enact a resolution or ordinance concerning idling that is at least as stringent as, but not less stringent than, the state standard. Sponsors: Reps Marvin/Willford | Summary: 

Current law imposes a uniform state idling standard on an owner or operator of a covered vehicle that prohibits the vehicle from idling for more than 5 minutes within any 60-minute period, except in certain situations. Current law also prohibits a local government from enacting a resolution or ordinance concerning the idling of a covered vehicle that is more stringent than the state idling standard.

The bill authorizes a local government to enact a resolution or ordinance concerning the idling of a covered vehicle that is at least as stringent as, but not less stringent than, the state idling standard.

🚨HB24-1346 | Energy & Carbon Management Regulation | Concerning energy and carbon management regulation in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, broadening the ECMC’s regulatory authority to include direct air capture (DAC) and geologic storage operations. Sponsors: Reps Titone/McCormick, Sens Hansen/Priola | Summary:  The commission may: Impose any regulatory responsibility or financial assurance obligation on a CCS operator if the operator makes a material misrepresentation or omission that causes the commission to approve a site closure; and Assess and collect regulatory and permitting fees from geologic storage operators. The bill also allows the commission to hire and designate employees of the ECMC as administrative law judges (so not under the authority of the Attorney General!) who have the authority to administer proceedings on behalf of the commission. The bill changes this statute of limitations to 3 years (from 1 year) after the discovery of the alleged violation and provides that the 3-year statute of limitations period does not apply if information is knowingly or willfully concealed by the alleged violator. The bill also expands the following energy and carbon management law areas to include geologic storage operations and direct air capture facilities: Enforcement and civil penalty procedures; Use of the ECMC cash fund by the commission; Mitigation of adverse environmental impacts by the commission or an operator; and State agency and local government authority over oil and gas development. The ECMC is required to adopt rules related to the permitting and regulation of direct air capture facilities. When reviewing an application for a direct air capture facility, the commission must consider whether a setback of the DAC facility from certain areas is necessary and reasonable to protect and minimize adverse impacts. The bill also establishes that: Ownership of pore space necessary for geologic storage (air pockets in the dirt) is vested in the owner of the overlying surface estate; The order to pool pore space for CCS must include terms and conditions that are just and reasonable and establish a plan for operations of the geologic storage unit (plan). An order is effective only if the plan has been approved by those persons that collectively own at least 75% of the pore space. The bill also allows a local government to request that the director of the commission appoint a technical review board to assist a local government in analyzing and answering any technical questions regarding the local government’s land use regulations. The bill also requires the CDPHE to develop CO2 accounting procedures for CCS and DAC. The ECMC and the CDPHE must also work collaboratively to address air emissions from direct air capture facilities and geologic storage operations.

🚨HB24-1352 | Appliance Requirements & Incentives | Concerning measures to increase access to affordable appliances for a healthy community. | Sponsors: Reps Froelich/Velasco, Sen Cutter | Summary: The bill prohibits the sale of certain air conditioners that are manufactured on or after January 1, 2027, unless the covered HVAC complies with certain technical standards. In 2029 and 2034, CDPHE must assess compliance with the technical standards. In the case of a third or subsequent violation of the standards, the attorney general may bring a civil action to seek a civil penalty of no more than $2,000 per ton of cooling and certain other remedial actions. By 1/1/26, semi-annually until 2034, the Colorado energy office (CEO) must conduct a study re households/housing providers installing a covered HVAC vs one that does not meet the technical standards. By 1/1/27 the CEO shall establish a program to offer certain financial incentives to certain income-qualified households and income-qualified housing providers to cover the average cost difference described in the energy office’s most recent study. 1/1/24-1/134 creates a refundable, assignable state income tax credit of $5K for certain cold-climate heat pumps or ground-source heat pumps. But the amount claimed may be increased based on certain criteria. A home builder or an HVAC contractor must provide certain verification information to the department of revenue to qualify for the tax credit. Requires the CEO to post information about the tax credit on their website.

On or before April 1, 2025, requires a public utility that provides electricity to submit to the public utilities commission a proposal for a specific voluntary rate or rates for electricity supplied to residential customers who utilize a heat pump as their primary heating source. On 1/1/25, new building construction project must include certain requirements in the state agency’s criteria for receiving state financial assistance.  This bill changes current law to require new residential windows, residential doors, and residential skylights to instead satisfy certain standards in the International Energy Conservation Code.

WEEK 7 ENDING FEBRUARY 23, 2024

⭐️= CCLC Legislation Committee Championed
🗣= You know you make me want to shout ACTION ALERT! Tell your friends and neighbors
Click on the bill number to access more details

HB24-1313 | Housing in Transit-Oriented Communities | Concerning measures to increase the affordability of housing in transit-oriented communities. | Sponsors: Reps Woodrow/Jodeh, Sens Hansen/Winter | Summary: (OK this bill has a super long summary so I’ma chop it down; click the bill thing for details.) Section 1 of the bill establishes a category of local government: A transit-oriented community. As defined in the bill, a transit-oriented community is entirely within a metropolitan planning organization, Has a population of 4,000 or more; and Contains at least 75 acres of certain transit-related areas; or If the local government is a county, contains either a a transit station area that is both in an unincorporated part of the county and within one-half mile of a station that serves a commuter rail service or light rail service; or A transit corridor area that both is in an unincorporated part of the county and is fully encompassed by one or more municipalities.

The bill requires a transit-oriented community to meet its housing opportunity goal. A housing opportunity goal is a zoning capacity goal determined based on housing density and the amount of transit-related areas. (See the bill for more details). A transit-oriented community is required to demonstrate that it has met is housing opportunity goal by submitting a housing opportunity goal report to the department of local affairs (see the bill yada yada). After receiving a transit-oriented community’s housing opportunity goal report, the department shall either approve the report or provide direction, or if the department does not approve a transit-oriented community’s housing opportunity goal report, the department will designate the transit-oriented community as a nonqualified transit-oriented community. (Oh, woe is me! But read on for why you want to go through all this bureaucracy—the carrots!) The state treasurer shall transfer any money that a nonqualified transit-oriented community would have otherwise been allocated from the highway users tax fund instead to the transit-oriented communities highway users tax account. (And some sticks…) If the department does not approve a transit-oriented community’s housing opportunity goal report on or before December 31, 2027, the department may seek an injunction requiring the transit-oriented community to comply with the requirements of the bill. The bill also creates a grant program to assist local governments in upgrading infrastructure within transit centers and neighborhood centers. The fund is continuously appropriated. On July 1, 2024, the state treasurer shall transfer $35 million from the general fund to the fund. (Sing the money song here.)

⭐️  HB24-1330 | Air Quality Permitting | Concerning modifications of processes to obtain permits for activities that impact air quality. | Sponsors: Reps Bacon/Willford, Sen Cutter | Section 1 of the bill clarifies that a request for general permit registration does not constitute having a valid construction permit. Strangely, frackers could proceed without one before! Section 1 also requires the CDPHE in evaluating a permit application for an emitting source (source) that includes an oil and gas system (oil and gas system), to:

  • Aggregate emissions from the oil and gas system; and (because now they can submit each emitting piece of a development as a separate air permit to avoid more stringent regulations)
  • Include emissions from exploration and preproduction activities. (Because these are THE HIGHEST EMITTING processes and they’re considered temporary so today THESE ENORMOUS EMISSIONS DO NOT COUNT.  Magic disappearing massive emissions!)

Section 2 requires that the division or the commission only grant permits for certain proposed sources in a nonattainment area if:

  • The division or commission determines that the proposed source WILL NOT CONTRIBUTE TO AN EXCEEDANCE of any applicable national ambient air quality standard (this is yuge);
  • The owner or operator of the proposed source achieves emissions reductions of each air pollutant for which the nonattainment area is in nonattainment that are equal to or greater than the anticipated emissions of the proposed source; and
  • The proposed source is not in a disproportionately impacted community. (BOOM there it is.)

On and after January 1, 2025, the division or commission must base any determination on the modeling of air quality impacts from emissions (air quality modeling).

If a permit is granted after air quality modeling is conducted:

  • Any assumption used in the air quality modeling must be included in the permit as a permit condition; and
  • Any averaging time utilized for a permit condition must be no greater than the averaging time for any applicable national ambient air quality standard.

Section 3 requires the energy and carbon management commission to require that an oil and gas operator obtain a (air emissions) permit before making a final determination on an oil and gas permit application. Read the Fact Sheet.

⭐️ SB24-165 | Air Quality Improvements | Concerning measures to reduce emissions of air pollutants that negatively impact air quality. | Sponsors: Sens Priola/Cutter, Reps Rutinel/Garcia | Summary: On or before December 31, 2028, the bill requires the air quality control commission (AQCC) to adopt by rule certain emission standards and requirements for in-use, off-road, diesel-fueled fleets (like bulldozers, fracking rigs and backhoes).

On or before December 31, 2025, the AQCC must adopt rules for controlling emissions from facilities, buildings, structures, installations, or real property that generates mobile source activity that results in emissions of air pollutants (indirect source) within the 8-hour ozone Denver metro/north front range nonattainment area. The rules must include emission reduction targets for indirect sources to achieve and a process for the CDPHE to review alternative approaches proposed by an owner or operator of an indirect source. The commission may establish a fee for indirect sources within the covered nonattainment area to cover the division’s costs in implementing the rules.

The bill also defines “ozone season” as the period beginning May 1 and ending September 30 of each year (ozone season). Beginning in the 2025 ozone season, and in each ozone season thereafter, any oil and gas preproduction activity within the covered nonattainment area must pause for the duration of the ozone season.

On or before June 30, 2024, and on or before each June 30 thereafter, an oil and gas operator in the state is required to submit an oil and natural gas annual emission inventory report (inventory report) to the division that includes, for the previous calendar year, the emissions of certain air pollutants from oil and gas operations under the control of the oil and gas operator.

On or before October 1, 2024, and on or before each October 1 thereafter, the division, in coordination with the energy and carbon management commission (ECMC), must prepare a report regarding the inventory reports received by the division for the previous calendar year and certain other information.

On or before November 30, 2024, and on or before each November 30 thereafter, for the ozone season of the subsequent year, an oil and gas operator that controls oil and gas operations in the covered nonattainment area must submit a report to the division estimating emissions of nitrogen oxides from the oil and gas operator’s operations in the covered nonattainment area (estimates).

For the 2025 ozone season, and for each ozone season thereafter, the ECMC, in consultation with the division, must develop an ozone season nitrogen oxides emission budget for the emissions of nitrogen oxides by oil and gas operations in the covered nonattainment area, which budget must set certain maximum average emission levels of nitrogen oxides by oil and gas operations.

On or before February 1, 2025, and on or before each February 1 thereafter, the division must prepare a nitrogen oxides report regarding the estimates received by the division for use by the ECMC in determining if the total estimates received exceed the budget for the ozone season of the current year.

Beginning in February 2025, and in each February thereafter, the ECMC, in consultation with the division, must act to limit emissions of nitrogen oxides from oil and gas operations in the covered nonattainment area in a manner that prevents an exceedance of the current year’s budget.

The bill also requires the department of transportation to establish vehicle miles traveled reduction targets for the covered nonattainment area and to develop policies and programs to assist applicable metropolitan planning organizations in meeting the targets. Read the Fact Sheet.

⭐️ SB24-166 | Air Quality Enforcement | Concerning measures to increase the enforcement of violations that impact the environment. | Sponsors: Sen Winter, Reps Froelich/Velasco | Summary: Section 1 of the bill defines a “repeat violator” as a person that, in a 3-year period, has committed 5 or more violations of certain air quality laws. Also defines a “high-priority repeat violator” as a repeat violator that, in a 3-year period, has committed 5 or more exceedances of the allowable emissions of an air pollutant in a permit (I’m looking at you, Suncor, with your 1,000 violations in the last five years, and you, Prospect Energy, with your permanent refusal to comply with emissions regulations, and a lot more of yous.) Section 2 requires the CDPHE in the case of a violation by a repeat violator, to issue an order of compliance (order) for the violation instead of issuing a warning letter. The order must assess civil penalties and, in the case of a high-priority repeat violator, must require the high-priority repeat violator to conduct and submit to the division a root cause analysis for the violation, which must be submitted to the division within 90 days after the order. In connection with an order and in the case of a high-priority repeat violator, the division must require a reduction in emissions of any air pollutant applicable to an emission exceedance from any emission unit where a violation occurred in accordance with certain standards. Section 2 also clarifies that the division may assess civil penalties for air quality violations without instituting an action in district court. Section 2 also allows a person, with respect to air quality laws, to commence a civil action  against an alleged violator. A person shall not commence an action until at least 60 days after a notice has been provided to the executive director of the department of public health and environment, the director of the division, and the alleged violator. Except for violations of an ongoing or recurring nature, any action that is not commenced within 5 years after the discovery of the alleged violation is time barred. Section 2 also requires the division, on or before February 1, 2025, and on or before each February 1 thereafter, to prepare and post on the division’s website an air quality enforcement report, (because they don’t do that now, sigh) which must contain certain air quality enforcement information from the previous calendar year. Section 3 requires that: In the case of a repeat violator, the division or a district court assess a civil penalty that is at least 50% of the maximum civil penalty applicable to the violation under applicable state air quality laws; and In the case of a violation by a repeat violator in a disproportionately impacted community, the division or a district court assess a civil penalty that is at least 75% of the maximum civil penalty applicable to the violation under applicable state air quality laws… Raises the maximum civil penalty to the amount provided by state air quality laws. Section 6 requires a district court, in a suit against a person that has violated a state law related to energy and carbon management, to award the initial complaining party any costs of litigation incurred by the initial complaining party if the court determines that the award is appropriate. Current law exempts damage awards from the state constitutional definition of “fiscal year spending”, which counts toward the state’s annual spending limit pursuant to state constitutional law. Section 7 (makes money awarded exempt from TABOR provisions.) Read the Fact Sheet.

WEEK 6 ENDING FEBRUARY 16, 2024

HB24-1246 | Electric Grid Resilience Temporary Carbon Dioxide Regulation aka “The Don’t Look Up Bill” | Concerning emissions emanating from (extraterrestrial) power sources, and, in connection therewith, addressing electric generation and distribution resilience and suspending the regulation of carbon dioxide as an air pollutant. | Sponsor: Rep DeGraaf | Summary: The bill requires the public utilities commission (PUC) to develop a contingency plan to create electrical generation and grid resilience against geomagnetic storms. Standards are set for the plan. The commission shall promulgate rules requiring an electrical utility to… do a bunch of expensive stuff for a circumstance that can’t be averted, like: Incorporate the resiliency plan; isolate large power transformers and power generation from the grid; Mechanically isolate critical components if or when the coronal mass ejection is likely to cause geomagnetically induced currents; Restrict or close fuel pipeline valves to mitigate damage; Install automatic neutral ground blocking devices in large power transformers; Ensure computer equipment can be mechanically isolated from the grid and sheltered from geomagnetically induced surges; Require all networked systems that operate electrical generation and distribution to be electronically and physically separable from the outside networks; and Require cyber-certification of hardware and software that operate electrical generation and distribution. What’s the fiscal note on this, $10B? Current law sets carbon dioxide emission reduction goals for the years 2030 and 2050. The bill extends these goals to 2040 and 2060 and makes these goals a lower priority than the electrical generation and distribution resilience provisions of the bill. SIGH. The bill prohibits the classification of carbon dioxide as an air pollutant and establishes, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, that state statute, executive agency rules, and any regulations of political subdivisions of the state must not include the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant. Any portion of an executive agency rule that treats carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant is voidNAUSEA. You see, it’s going to be an geomagnetic storm that kills us all, and we’ve been worried about climate change for nothin’. (How this bill doesn’t violate the single subject rule is beyond me.)

HB24-1249 | Tax Credit Agricultural Stewardship Practices | Concerning a state income tax credit for active agricultural stewardship practices. | Sponsors: Reps Winter/Martinez, Sens Pelton/Roberts (Bi-Partisan) | Summary: The bill establishes a state income tax credit for active qualified stewardship practices on a farm or ranch beginning January 1, 2026. There are 3 tiers of tax credits that may be earned by a qualified taxpayer: $75 per acre of land for one; $100/acre for actively practicing 2 qualified stewardship practices; for 3 or more up to $150 per acre. The aggregate amount of tax credits issued in one calendar year cannot exceed $10 million“Qualified stewardship practice” means rotational grazing, rotational crops, reduced/no till soil, cover cropping, interseeding, compost application, or any other practice that increases soil health, improves water efficiency, or creates more diverse and beneficial ecosystems while maintaining the productivity of the farm or ranch.

⭐️ HB24-1307 | HVAC Improvements for Public Schools | Concerning HVAC infrastructure improvement projects in schools. | Sponsors: Lieder/Hamrick, Sen Marchman | Summary: The bill requires schools to satisfy certain requirements concerning installation, inspection, and maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in schools if the school administrative entity undertakes HVAC infrastructure improvements using money made available by a federal government source or by a federal government source in combination with a state government source specifically for such purpose. The requirements established in the bill concern: Ventilation verification assessments, which include assessments of an HVAC system’s filtration, ventilation exhaust, economizers, demand control ventilation, air distribution and building pressurization, general maintenance requirements, operational controls, and carbon dioxide output; The review of HVAC assessment reports by mechanical engineers, who make recommendations regarding necessary repairs and improvements and estimate associated costs; HVAC adjustments, repairs, upgradesand replacements; The bill establishes mandatory criteria that an HVAC contractor must satisfy in order to perform work described in the bill. A school administrative entity that undertakes HVAC infrastructure improvements must do so using only contractors on the certified contractor list established by the department of labor and employment. The bill allows a school administrative entity to apply for grants to pay for HVAC infrastructure improvement projects and establishes requirements for school administrative entities that apply for grants from federal and state government sources. See the Fact Sheet below.

⭐️ SB24-159 | Mod to Energy & Carbon Management Processes aka “Phase Out and Clean Up” | Concerning modifications to processes to further protect public health in energy and carbon management. | Sponsors: Sens Jaquez Lewis/Priola, Reps Boesenecker/Marvin | Summary: On or before July 1, 2027, requires the energy and carbon management commission (ECMC) to cease issuing new oil and gas permits before January 1, 2030, which must include reduction to 660 permits in 2028 and 330 in 2029 with cessation of new permits by 2030.  The bill also prohibits high-emmisions activities like recompilations (refracking) for existing wells, but does not ban production from 48,000+ existing wells in operation. Also requires the commission to include as a condition in any permit issued after July 1, 2024, must be drilled on or before December 31, 2032, as to each oil and gas well included in the permit.  If the commission determines that mitigation of adverse environmental impacts is necessary as a result of oil and gas operations, current law requires the commission to issue an order requiring a responsible party to perform the mitigation. If the responsible party refuses to perform the mitigation or is identified after the state provides funds for the mitigation, the commission must sue the responsible party to recover the costs of the mitigationSection 3 changes current law by: Expanding mitigation to include mitigation of adverse environmental impacts as a result of any activily regulated by the ECMC (including geothermal, hydrogen, underground storage of carbon and methane, gravity storage etc.; Adding a prior owner or operator to the definition of “responsible party”; and Allowing a current or prior owner or operator to be held jointly and severally liable for the costs of any mitigationSection 4 requires the office of future of work to present recommendations as a result of the adoption of the permitting rules to the general assembly in January 2028. Here’s the Phase Out Fact Sheet. Here’s the  Liability Reform Fact Sheet.

WEEK 5 ENDING FEBRUARY 9, 2024

SB24-085 | Sales & Use Tax Rebate for Digital Asset Purchases | Concerning a rebate of the state sales and use tax paid on new digital infrastructure assets purchased in connection with an eligible data center. Sponsors: Sens Priola/Buckner, Reps Parenti/Weinberg (Bi-partisan) | Summary: For the state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2026, and for each state fiscal year thereafter through the state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2033, the bill allows a data center business or a data center operator (taxpayer) to claim a rebate for all state sales and use tax that the taxpayer paid for construction materials or data center equipment that is for the construction or operation of an eligible data center, including everything imaginable, plus software. An “eligible data center” is defined as a data center that creates at least 20 jobs, generates at least $100M of revenue, and requires a min of 3MW of power. The commission may issue certification for up to 3 data centers to claim a sales and use tax rebate in any fiscal year. No prohibition on crypto-mining

SB24-123 | Waste Tire Management Enterprise | Concerning the creation of an enterprise that is exempt from the requirements of section 20 of article X of the state constitution to administer a fee-based waste tire management program. | Sponsors: Sens Priola/Hansen, Reps Mauro/Froelich | Summary:  The bill creates the waste tire management enterprise (enterprise). Under current law, when a consumer buys new tires, the retailer charges the consumer a waste tire fee (fee) that is then collected by the department of public health and environment (CDPHE) and distributed into 2 separate cash funds: The waste tire administration, enforcement, market development, and cleanup fund; and The end users fund. The department uses the money in the end users fund to issue rebates to end users of waste tires.

🚨 SB24-127 | Regulate Dredged & Fill Material State Waters | Concerning the establishment of a dredge-and-fill permit program to regulate the discharge of pollutants into certain state waters in response to recent changes in federal law. | Sponsors: Sen Kirkmeyer, Rep Bird (Bi-Partisan) | Summary: The bill creates the stream and wetlands protection commission (commission) in the department of natural resources (DNR) and requires the commission to develop, adopt, and maintain a dredge-and-fill permit program for: Regulating the discharge of dredged or fill material into certain state waters; and Providing protections for state waters, which protections are no more restrictive than the protections provided under the federal “Clean Water Act” as it existed on May 24, 2023. The commission is required to promulgate rules as expeditiously as is prudent and feasible concerning the issuance of permits under the permit program. Until the division implements such rules, the bill prohibits the water quality control division in the department of public health and environment from taking any enforcement action against an activity that includes the discharge of dredged or fill material into state waters if the activity causing the discharge is conducted in a manner that provides for protection of state waters consistent with the protections that would have occurred through compliance with federal law prior to May 25, 2023. The bill directs the state treasurer to transfer $600,000 from the severance tax operational fund to the capital construction fund on July 1, 2024, for the implementation of the bill.

SB24-148 | Precipitation Harvesting Storm Water Detention | Concerning allowing certain facilities to use water detained in a storm water detention and infiltration facility for precipitation harvesting. | Sponsor: Sen Van Winkle | Summary: Under current law, an entity that owns, operates, or has oversight over a storm water detention and infiltration facility (facility) is not allowed to divert, store, or otherwise use water detained in the facility. For facilities that are also approved for use as a precipitation harvesting facility, either through a substitute water supply plan or an augmentation plan, the bill authorizes the use of water detained in the facility for precipitation harvesting.

SB24-150 | Processing of Municipal Solid Waste | Concerning requirements for the processing of municipal solid waste in the state. Sponsors: Sen Cutter, Rep Froelich | Summary: On and after July 1, 2024, section 2 of the bill prohibits a person from operating or expanding certain units that incinerate municipal solid waste (incineration unit). Section 3 changes current law to provide that synthetic gas produced by the pyrolysis of waste materials is not an eligible energy resource for the purpose of certain state-level renewable energy standards. Section 4 changes current law to specify that methane derived from the pyrolysis of municipal solid waste is not recovered methane that is a clean heat resource for the purpose of clean heat plans.

🚨SB24-152 | Regenerative Agriculture Tax Credit | Concerning an income tax credit for qualifying food and beverage retailers in the state that source ingredients from local producers practicing regenerative agriculture. | Sponsors: Sens Simpson/Roberts, Rep McCormick (Bi-Partisan) | Summary: The bill creates a tax incentive program equal to 25% of the total amount paid to be administered by the department of Ag to encourage local food and beverage retailers to purchase agricultural commodities from local producers practicing regenerative agriculture, for  purchasing produce and animal products from qualifying local producers. Fact Sheet here.

WEEK 4 ENDING FEBRUARY 2, 2024

New bills this week

HB24-1173 | Electric Vehicle Charging System Permits | Concerning expediting the process for permitting electric motor vehicle charging systems. | Sponsors: Rep Valdez, A. | Summary: The bill establishes an expedited permitting process for the approval of electric motor vehicle (EV) charging systems for counties and municipalities. A board of county commissioners or the governing body of a municipality must adopt an application procedure for an applicant to apply for an EV charger permit to install an EV charging system. The county permitting agency will review and approve, conditionally approve, or deny an EV charger permit: Within 30 days after the application is considered complete, for an application that proposes to build fewer than 13 charging stations on a parcel where the EV charging system is considered an accessory land use to the existing or primary land use on that parcel; or Within 60 days after the application is considered complete, for an application that proposes to build 13 or more charging stations. If county takes no action within the time period then the EV charger permit is granted to the applicant. The bill also instructs the Colorado energy office to develop a model code regarding the approval of EV charger permits and provide counties and municipalities technical assistance in developing and administering the expedited EV charger permitting process.

HB24-1178 | Local Government Authority to Regulate Pesticides | Concerning local government authority to regulate pesticides. | Sponsors: Reps Kipp/Froelich, Sens Cutter/Jaquez Lewis | Summary: Current law prohibits a local government from creating laws that regulate the use of pesticides by pesticide applicators regulated by state or federal law. The bill allows a local government to create and enforce laws regulating the sale or use of pesticides to protect the health and safety of the community with certain exceptions.

Week 3 ending January 26, 2024

NEW BILLS THIS WEEK

SB24-092 | Cost Effective Energy Codes | Concerning cost effective energy codes. | Sponsors: Sen Pelton, Rep Pugliese | Summary: The bill requires any provision of any energy code adopted by a county or municipality on or after January 1, 2026, to be cost effective. “Cost effective” means, using the existing energy efficiency standards and requirements as a base of comparison, that the economic benefits of the proposed energy efficiency standards and requirements will exceed the economic costs of those standards and requirements based upon an incremental multi-year analysis that: Considers the perspective of a typical first-time home buyer; Considers benefits and costs over a 10-year period; Does not assume fuel price increases in excess of the assumed general rate of inflation; Ensures that the buyer of a home who would qualify to purchase the home before the addition of the energy efficiency standards will still qualify to purchase the same home after the additional cost of energy saving construction features; and Ensures that the costs of principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and utilities will not be greater after the inclusion of the proposed cost of the additional energy saving construction features required by the proposed energy efficiency rules than under the provisions of the existing energy efficiency rules. 

SB24-095 | Air Quality Ozone Levels | Concerning measures to address ozone levels in areas that do not meet federal ozone national ambient air quality standards. | Sponsors: Sen Kirkmeyer | Summary: Creates a high-emitter vehicle program for owners of motor vehicles that are not in compliance with emission standards and that have been issued a certification of emissions waiver (qualified vehicle). If the owner of a qualified vehicle resides in a nonattainment area for ozone and has unsuccessfully attempted to have the motor vehicle repaired to cure the noncompliance, the owner is eligible for a voucher of $850. Wait, coal-rollers get rewarded? The vouchers may be redeemed at qualified repair facilities that will bring the vehicle into compliance. Requires the air quality control commission (AQCC) to create a garden rebate program to increase the use of electric motors used for outdoor power equipment. The program must: Provide a point-of-purchase rebate of the lesser of $150 or one-third of the price for each piece of outdoor power equipment purchased by the end user in a nonattainment area for ozone; Establish a registration system for qualified retailers; Repeals the current tax credit for buying lawn and garden equipment with an electric motor. Expands the clean fleet enterprise program to include light-duty trucks; Authorize the clean fleet enterprise to provide grants of up to 80% of a local government’s cost of low-NOx; Requires the APCD (Air Pollution Control Division) to regularly perform, in the nonattainment area for ozone, photochemical modeling studies and data analysis designed to determine ambient air ozone levels and the effectiveness of policies for lowering ambient air ozone levels. Repealed when Colorado achieves attainment.

WEEK 2 ENDING JANUARY 19, 2024

No New Bills This Week!
Click on the bill number to access more details

WEEK 1 ENDING JANUARY 12, 2024

NEW BILLS THIS WEEK

Energy

SB24-039 | Nuclear Energy as a Clean Energy Resource | Concerning the inclusion of nuclear energy as a source of clean energy. | Sponsor: Sen Liston | Summary: The statutory definition of “clean energy” in current law determines which energy projects are eligible for clean energy project financing at the county and city and county level. The statutory definition of “clean energy resource” in current law determines which energy resources may be used by a qualifying retail utility to meet the 2050 clean energy target. The bill updates the statutory definitions to include nuclear energy. (The problem is with the bolded sentence: it’s too costly, the plant’s concrete/steel carbon footprint is too large, it takes too long to build to be useful for our 2050 goal, and of course there’s the problem with uranium mining and spent fuel.) | Recommendation: OPPOSE

Transportation

HB24-1012 | Front Range Passenger Rail District Efficiency | Concerning the operational efficiency of the front range passenger rail district.| Sponsors: Reps Mauro/Boesenecker, Sen Zenzinger | Summary: modifies FRPR Board administration stuff

HB24-1030 | Railroad Safety Requirements | Concerning railroad safety | Sponsors: Rep Mabrey, Sens Cutter/Exum | Summary: Limiting the maximum length of a train operating in the state, requiring certain railroads to use wayside detector systems, limiting the amount of time a train may obstruct public travel at certain crossings, authorizing a crew member’s designated union representative to investigate certain reported incidents, authorizing the public utilities commission to impose fines for certain violations, requiring fine revenue to be paid to the front range passenger rail district for the purposes of maintaining and improving the safety of a front range passenger rail system, and requiring certain railroads to carry insurance coverage in minimum amounts. | Recommendation: SUPPORT

SB24-032 | Methods to Increase the Use of Transit | Concerning methods to increase the use of transit. | Sponsors: Sens Priola/Jaquez Lewis, Rep Vigil | Summary: The bill creates the statewide transit pass exploratory committee within CDOT to produce a viable proposal for the creation, implementation, and administration of a statewide transit pass. The committee is required to meet as necessary to produce a viable proposal by July 1, 2026, with the goal of implementing a statewide transit pass by January 1, 2028.

SB24-036 | Vulnerable Road User Protection Enterprise | Concerning the creation of an enterprise to provide infrastructure improvements that protect vulnerable road users. | Sponsors: Sens Winter/Cutter, Reps Lindsay/Lindstedt | Summary: Provides funding for transportation system infrastructure improvements and other data-driven strategies identified in the federal highway administration-mandated vulnerable road user safety assessment, which CDOT is required to develop, that reduce the number of collisions with motor vehicles that result in death or serious injury to vulnerable road users. The enterprise is required to impose a vulnerable road user protection fee, which is imposed in tiered amounts that are calculated based on motor vehicle weight and configuration, on the registration of passenger cars and light trucks that are not commercial vehicles. Fee revenue is credited to a newly created vulnerable road user protection enterprise cash fund and continuously appropriated to the enterprise. | Recommendation: SUPPORT

GHG Pollution

SB24-028 | Study Biochar in Wildfire Mitigation Efforts | Concerning a comprehensive study on biochar, and, in connection therewith, studying the use of biochar in wildfire mitigation efforts. | Sponsors: Sens Cutter/Will, Rep Velasco (Bi-partisan) | Summary: directs the board of governors of the Colorado state university system (board) to conduct, or cause to be conducted, a comprehensive study on biochar, including its use in wildfire mitigation efforts. The board is required to submit a report on the findings of the study to specified committees of the general assembly by July 2026.

Climate Impacts

HB24-1006 | Assist Rural Community Wildfire-Related Grant App | Concerning assistance for rural communities to apply for wildfire-related grant money. | Sponsors: Reps Velasco/Snyder, Sens Cutter/Will (Bi-partisan) | Summary: Directs the rural opportunity office to assist rural communities with identifying and applying for state or federal grants for wildfire mitigation, prevention, response, or risk management efforts (wildfire-related grants) and to annually report back to the legislature

HB24-1024 | Extend Outreach Campaigns Wildfire Risk Mitigation | Concerning the continuation of public outreach campaigns relating to wildfire risk mitigation in the wildland-urban interface | Sponsors: Reps Story/Velasco, Sen Cutter | Summary: The bill requires the Colorado state forest service (forest service) to conduct enhanced wildfire awareness month outreach campaigns (campaigns) through 2027 and other outreach efforts through the 2026-27 state fiscal year that are expected to increase awareness of wildfire risk mitigation by residents in the wildland-urban interface. $300K from the general fund.

SB24-005 | Prohibit Landscaping Practices for Water Conservation | Concerning the conservation of water in the state through the prohibition of certain landscaping practices. | Sponsors: Sens Roberts/Simpson, Reps McCormick/McLachlan (Bi-partisan) | Summary: Prohibits local governments and HOAs from allowing the installation, planting, or placement of nonfunctional turf, artificial turf, or invasive plant species on commercial, institutional, or industrial property or a transportation corridor. | Recommendation: SUPPORT

SB24-009 | Local Government Disaster-Related Programs | Concerning assisting local governments in disaster-related programs. | Sponsors: Sens Cutter/Jaquez Lewis, Rep Snyder | Summary: Establishes the slash removal pilot program to support county efforts to efficiently and effectively remove slash.

SB24-014 | Seal of Climate Literacy Diploma Endorsement | Concerning authorization for granting a high school diploma endorsement related to climate literacy. | Sponsors: Sen Hansen, Rep McLachlan | Summary: The bill authorizes a local education provider to grant a high school diploma endorsement in climate literacy to graduating students who demonstrate mastery in climate literacy and attain green skills or technical green skills.

SB24-037 | Study Green Infrastructure for Water Quality Mgmt | Concerning alternative mechanisms for achieving compliance with water quality standards. | Sponsors: Sens Simpson/Bridges, Reps Lunch/McCormick (Bi-partisan) | Summary:  Conduct a feasibility study of the use of green infrastructure, as an alternative to traditional gray infrastructure, which refers to centralized water treatment facilities, and the use of green financing mechanisms for water quality management

SB24-038 | Authorize Conservancy District Water Management | Concerning authorizing a conservancy district to participate in a plan for augmentation; contract with water users outside the conservancy district for the provision of services; exercise certain powers regarding the control, delivery, use, and distribution of water; establish a water activity enterprise; and sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of the use of water or capacity in works by contract. | Sponsors: Sens Bridges/Simpson, Reps Martinez/McCormick (Bi-partisan) | Summary: Under current law, when certain conditions exist, a district court may establish conservancy districts for the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water for agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses. The bill allows conservancy districts to conserve, develop, utilize, or dispose of water for commercial uses as well. Allows a conservancy district to establish a water activity enterprise, which is a business that receives less than 10% of its annual revenues in grants from all Colorado state and local governments combined, is authorized to issue its own revenue bonds, and is excluded from the provisions of the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” in the state constitution.

2023 Climate Legislation Summary

Posted on July 16th, 2023

The legislature did a lot of great work this year, but also passed a slew of bills that we’re concerned will come back to bite us in the form of billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on the false solution that is carbon capture and sequestration—CCS.  

We excluded the ‘Utilization’ part of CCUS from much of our legislation, but then we signed a CCUS MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Wyoming, which is proud to support CCUS to justify endless drilling.

We must stop burning carbon. Period. Because let’s face it. Things are pretty dire on the planet. They’re accelerating more rapidly than even the most alarming predictions. And we haven’t even begun to reduce the amount of carbon added to our atmosphere every year. But the world spent as much money on renewables as fossils last year, we did pass historic federal legislation, and at the state level we made excellent progress, adding to our already stellar track record of attacking the climate crisis. It all begins and ends with:

Decarbonization / Electrification – 15 bills

  • HB23-1005 – New Energy Improvement Program Changes | Expands the C-PACE program and removes the requirement for a public hearing
    • Adds loans based on indoor air quality, wind/fire/flood resistance, storm water control, extreme temperatures, or reducing water consumption
  • HB23-1039 – Electric Resource Adequacy Reporting | Ensure planning is adequate for 80% GHGs reduction by 2030
  • HB23-1247 | Assess Advanced Energy Solutions In Rural Colorado | Concerning a requirement that the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) conduct studies to assess advanced energy solutions in rural Colorado. AES defined as geothermal, SMR Nuclear, Fracked Gas CCS, long-term storage, wind/solar + storage and ‘other firm energy’ sources.
    • Final bill added wind and solar + storage to the study, and includes the impacts on DI Communities and electricity costs as a factor. 
    • Includes the pursuit of added transmission capacity in Southern Colorado, particularly in the San Luis Valley and SE Plains.
  • HB23-1134 | Require Electric Options In Home Warranties | Allowing the homeowner to replace the gas-fueled appliance with a similar device of the homeowner’s choosing that operates on electricity rather than gas. 
  • HB23-1137 | Solar Garden Net Metering Credits Stabilization | Current law requires an electric utility to offer a net metering credit as the means of purchasing output from a community solar garden (CSG) and establishes the means of calculating the net metering credit. The bill maintains that calculation if the CSG indicates to the utility that the CSG’s subscribers’ bill credits change annually. However, if the CSG indicates to the utility that the CSG’s subscribers’ bill credits remain fixed, the bill provides a different calculation for determining the net metering credit.
  • HB23-1161 | Environmental Standards For Appliances | Concerning environmental standards for certain products. | Amended to include limiting gas fireplace inserts, striking general service lamps, low efficiency plumbing, and UPS’s. |Added a ton of new appliances/fixtures such as shower heads, hot tubs, fans, sprinklers, air purifiers, specific windows and doors, thermostats etc., and phases out the sale of general-purpose fluorescent light bulbs that contain mercury. Section 5 requires the CDPHE to promulgate rules on or before January 1, 2026, and every 5 years thereafter.
    • We need to phase out old CFCs in air conditioners, etc., which this bill doesn’t do. Feds just did. Hurry!
  • HB23-1233 | Electric Vehicle Charging And Parking Requirements | Requiring the state electrical board to adopt rules facilitating electric vehicle charging at multifamily buildings. | Adds multiunit buildings to those that must comply with the solar/EV ready code to comply with EV infrastructure. No property taxes until 2030, and allows for charging stations along interstate highways.
  • HB23-1234 | Streamlined Solar Permitting And Inspection Grants | Concerning the streamlined solar permitting and inspection grant program. | The program will grant money to local governments to implement free automated permitting and inspection software. Should cut the grid hookup time from months to 30 days.
  • HB23-1252 | Thermal Energy | Concerning the implementation of measures to advance thermal energy service. |  Authorizes the CEO to award grants for retrofitting existing buildings for installation of a geothermal system for heating and cooling and for generating geothermal energy through direct air capture (DAC) technology under the geothermal electricity generation grant that the office administers.Section 4 adds thermal energy as an eligible clean heat resource for helping to meet clean heat targets.
    • Utilities that serve more than 500,000 customers are required to propose pilot thermal energy network projects for the commission’s review and approval.
    • This really reduces the reliance—if implemented—on fracked gas for heating/cooling, and offers a grid-independent 24/7/265 HVAC environment for large buildings. 
    • Gives the ECMC control.  ‘Nuff said.  State tax credits for implementation in HB23-1272
  • HB23-1272 | Tax Policy That Advances Decarbonization | Tax credits for EVs & med/heavy duty trucks; for industrial facilities to reduce GHGs, for geothermal energy projects, for heat pumps, for e-bikes, and for sustainable aviation fuel; and decreasing the tax credit for oil and gas production to pay for it all. |
    • State tax credit of $5,000 beginning now for the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle under $55K for cars or $80K for light trucks/SUVs through 2025 in surplus years (steps down beginning 1/1/26) and $12K for light-heavy duty trucks; extra $2,500 for EV purchase under $35K beginning 1/1/24 (to attract low-income buyers).
    • E-bikes get $500 credit
    • Air/Ground Heat pumps and heat pump water heaters 10% credit reduced to end 1/1/24 instead of 1/1/25. Starting 1/1/24 air drops to $1,500 through 2025 then steps down; ground drops to $3K then steps down, heat pump water heaters drop to $500. Multi-unit or campus get a credit based on per ton capacity up to 100 tons and incudes geothermal.
    • 30% industrial GHG reduction tax credit up to $1M (specific methods on page 19/20) includes hydrogen, CC, biomethane, storage, CDR & DAC, as long as it reduces emissions by at least 20%
    • Geothermal systems up to $35M and for electricity generation using geothermal up to $.003/KwH up to $1M
    • Sustainable aviation fuel facilities get 30% 2024-2027 then steps down until 2033
    • Discount on Class A/B fleet vehicles of 50% or 60% of purchase price depending on weight (wow!)
    • The bill decreases the tax credit for oil and gas production from 87.5% to 75%, then steps down. Requires a study on permanent changes to their severance (the amount they pay to extract fossil fuels) tax structure.
  • SB23-016 – Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures | Requires insurance companies to do climate risk disclosures; Requires an annual climate risk assessment from PERA; Expands ability to add electricity transmission equipment and sets penalties for bad customer service of interconnected equipment (Solar and EV); provides 30% discount on electric lawn equipment; see CCUS for more, and:
    • Adds a 65% reduction in GHGs over 2005 levels by 2035, 75% by 2040 and 95% by 2045 benchmark, and ups the 90% by 2050 to 100%
  • SB23-092 | Agricultural Producers Use Of Agrivoltaics | Concerning opportunities for voluntary emission reductions in agriculture. |  In support of the use of agrivoltaics, which is the integration of solar energy generation facilities with agricultural activities. On or before 9/1/23 convene a study with Dept of Ag (CDA), the Colorado energy office (CEO), and the division of parks and wildlife (DPW), to evaluate the opportunities and challenges associated with agrivoltaics in the state. By 2/15/24, the task force is required to present the results of the study to Ag legislative committees. The Colorado water conservation board (CWCB) , in consultation with the state engineer, the Colorado energy office, and the Colorado water institute, to study the feasibility of using aquavoltaics, which are solar energy generation facilities placed over, or floating on, irrigation canals or reservoirs.
    • Requires the DPW to consult on the impacts on wildlife.
    • Exempts personal property acquired for agrivoltaics (like drip irrigation and alternative farm equipment) from personal property tax. See CCUS for more.
  • HB23-1281 | Advance The Use Of Clean Hydrogen | Concerning measures to advance the use of clean hydrogen in the state. |
    • Designed to support utilities’ use of hydrogen for storage and electricity creation instead of fracked gas and buying LNG on the spot market
    • Requires Cumulative Impacts analysis including comparing to alternative renewables including lifetime GHGs
    • Looks for ways to sell green (as oppose to ‘clean’) hydrogen (which we must ensure does not take place on the backs of ratepayers!)
  • SB23-198 | Clean Energy Plans | Concerning the verification of clean energy plans to ensure that the plans achieve the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. |
    • Ensures the entire utility sector (not just investor owned utilities) will actually achieve 80% reduction in GHGs by 2030
      • Gives them state assistance if the plans they submit don’t meet the state’s goals
  • SB23-291 | Utility Regulation | Concerning the public utilities commission’s regulation of energy utilities. |
    • Requires that IOUs (Investor owned utilities) share in the cost of commodity purchase of LNG, thus making them feel the pain ratepayers feel in the winter
    • Rejects ratepayers paying for lawyers to advocate to raise rates, and for the marketing costs for a captive customer base
    • Maybe prevents Xcel customers from paying for lawsuits due to Xcel’s negligence?
    • Mostly a ‘We’re watching you!” warning bill.

Pollinators – 2 bills

  • SB23-192 | Sunset Pesticide Applicators’ Act | Concerning implementing recommendations contained in the 2022 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies regarding the act. |
  • SB23-266 | Neonic Pesticides As Limited-use Pesticides | Concerning a requirement that the commissioner of agriculture designate neonicotinoid pesticides as limited-use pesticides. 

Pollution – 7 bills

  • HB23-1101 | Ozone Season Transit Grant Program Flexibility | Concerning increasing the flexibility of the ozone season transit grant program | Metro transportation districts can choose when they want to offer free fares, and the Denver metro area has chosen July AND August this year!
  • HB23-1285 | Store Use Of Carryout Bags And Sustainable Products | Concerning the requirement that a store use fees collected from single-use bags to purchase certain items for the store. | Stores didn’t figure out how to use the bill we gave them last year, so this bill makes it clear.
  • HB23-1294 | Pollution Prevention Measures | Concerning measures to protect communities (particularly those in the nonattainmemt zone) from pollution. |  Gutted, then amended some more. Critically important provisions remain, which include
    • THE COMMISSION SHALL REVIEW, CONSIDER, AND INCLUDE ADDRESSABLE IMPACTS TO CLIMATE, PUBLIC HEALTH, THE ENVIRONMENT, AIR QUALITY, WATER QUALITY, NOISE, ODOR, WILDLIFE, AND BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES, AND TO DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED COMMUNITIES, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 24-4-109 (2)(b)(II). This may seem trivial, but we’ve been trying to get the ECMC (then the COGCC) to recognize and deal with cumulative impacts since SB181 required it in 2019, and they have steadfastly refused to do so. Now they have no choice.
    • (IV) As USED IN THIS SUBSECTION(11)(d), “IMPACTS TO CLIMATE” MEANS QUANTIFICATION OF EMISSIONS OF GREENHOUSE GASES, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 25-7-140 (6), THAT OCCUR FROM SOURCES THAT ARE CONTROLLED OR OWNED BY THE OPERATOR AND REASONABLY FORESEEABLE TRUCK TRAFFIC AT AN OIL AND GAS LOCATION. Important for including transportation not just pad operations.
  • SB23-143 | Retail Delivery Fees | Concerning the administration of the existing retail delivery fees collected by the department of revenue. |
    • This bill preserves a piece of the giant transportation bill from a previous session (SB21-260)
  • SB23-191 | Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Organics Diversion Study | Concerning a study regarding diversion of organic materials from landfills.
    • Because food waste generates so much of the methane emanating from landfills. But food waste makes great fertilizer, so let’s find a way to divert landfill emissions to beneficial use.
  • SB23-253 | Standards For Products Represented As Compostable | Concerning standards for products represented as compostable in the state.
    • Quit misleading the public about whether your packaging is compostable.
  • HB23-1272 | Pays for a lot of this. Puts our money where our mouth is. And also makes the frackers pay for us to stop using their products, which I love. You should love it too.

Climate Disaster – 10 bills

  • HB23-1240 | Sales Use Tax Exemption Wildfire Disaster Construction | Concerning a sales and use tax exemption for construction and building materials used for repairing and rebuilding residential structures damaged or destroyed by a declared wildfire disaster in 2020, 2021, or 2022 |
    • Helps survivors of our wildfires the past three years with rebuilding.  Eliminates sales tax on building materials. 
  • HB23-1273 | Creation Of Wildfire Resilient Homes Grant Program | Provides grants for people trying to make their homes more wildfire resistant.
  • SB23-005 – Forestry And Wildfire Mitigation Workforce |
    • Clean up the wildfire caused deadfall and beetle kill so instead of emitting carbon and methane as it decomposes, it instead makes biochar for well plugging and other beneficial uses
  • SB23-010 – (Permanent) Water Resources And Agriculture Review Committee | Duh?
  • SB23-139 | State Severance Tax Trust Fund Allocation | Concerning the appropriation of money from the severance tax operational fund to the wildfire mitigation capacity development fund, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. | Using fracker taxes to help us clean up their own mess, gotta love it.
  • SB23-161 | Financing To Purchase Firefighting Aircraft | Fires these days grow so fast that we need really rapid response to curtail, so our own firefighting equipment—our 2nd Firehawk (A Blackhawk equipped with firefighting capabilities) helicopter purchase.
  • SB23-166 | Establishment Of A Wildfire Resiliency Code Board | Concerning adopting model codes within the wildland-urban interface (WUI). | If you build or own in the WUI, you need to take some responsibility to protect yourself.
  • SB23-177 | CO Water Projects Appropriations | Concerning the funding of Colorado Water Conservation Board Projects, and in connection therewith, making an (enormous) appropriation
  • SB23-178 | Water-wise Landscaping In Homeowners’ Association Communities | Concerning removing barriers to water-wise landscaping and vegetable gardens in common interest communities.
  • SB23-295 | Colorado River Drought Task Force | Concerning the creation of the Colorado river drought task force.

Climate in Agriculture – 3 bills

  • SB23-010 – (Permanent) Water Resources And Agriculture Review Committee | 
  • HB23-1220 | Study Republican River Groundwater Economic Impact | Concerning a study regarding the economic impact of the elimination of large-capacity groundwater withdrawal within the Republican river basin. | Because we’ve drawn so much groundwater we’re tilting the earth’s axis—really!
  • SB23-092 | Agricultural Producers Use Of Agrivoltaics | Concerning opportunities for voluntary emission reductions in agriculture through agri- and aquavoltaics, and begin the to quantify and monetize carbon sequestration in the soil. | Also provides an additional source of income by co-locating solar panels with their crops.

CCUS – 9 bills 

  • HB23-1069 | Study Biochar In Plugging Of Oil And Gas Wells | Concerning the creation of the biochar in oil and gas well plugging working advisory group to make recommendations for the development of a pilot program to study the use of biochar in the plugging of oil and gas wells.
    • The only carbon capture and sequestration bill that actually works, is cost-effective, and has a host of co-benefits, like reducing the toxic leaks in and around well pads, and lessening the volume of cement used in well plugging
  • HB23-1210 | Carbon Management | Concerning carbon management, and, in connection therewith, ensuring that carbon management projects are eligible for grants under the industrial and manufacturing operations clean air grant program and providing for the creation of a carbon management roadmap.
  • HB23-1247 | Assess Advanced Energy Solutions In Rural Colorado | Includes CCS for fracked gas plants.
  • HB23-1252 | Thermal Energy | Concerning the implementation of measures to advance thermal energy service. |  Authorizes the CEO to award grants for … direct air capture technology.
  • HB23-1281 | Advance The Use Of Clean Hydrogen | Concerning measures to advance the use of clean hydrogen in the state. | Beginning in 2028 (perhaps sooner) they can start blending hydrogen with fracked gas. What a deal.
  • SB23-016 – Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures | Authorizing state primacy application for Class VI carbon sequestration wells, after determining if the cumulative impacts of one will have positive impacts on a DI community, and if negative must be denied; may not be sited within 2000’ of a DI Community until after 4 years of operations of 4 wells,
    • Sets this definition of Cumulative Impacts: “MEANS THE EFFECT ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING THE EFFECT ON AIR QUALITY, WATER QUALITY, THE CLIMATE, NOISE, ODOR, WILDLIFE, AND BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES, CAUSED BY THE INCREMENTAL IMPACT THAT A PROPOSED NEW OR MODIFIED CLASS VI INJECTION WELL WOULD HAVE WHEN ADDED TO THE IMPACTS FROM OTHER PAST, PRESENT, AND REASONABLY FORESEEABLE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF ANY TYPE ON THE AFFECTED AREA, INCLUDING AN AIRSHED OR WATERSHED, OR ON A DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED COMMUNITY. But this is belied by this: “PERMIT ISSUED UNDER THIS SECTION ARE SUFFICIENT TO ENSURE THAT ANY CLASS VI INJECTION WELL IMPACTS ARE AVOIDED, MINIMIZED TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE,AND,TO THE EXTENT THAT ANY CLASS VI INJECTION WELL IMPACTS REMAIN, THAT THE IMPACTS ARE MITIGATED. THE COMMISSION SHALL PROVIDE A PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY OF HOW THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS ARE AVOIDED OR, IF NOT AVOIDED, MINIMIZED AND MITIGATED AND, IF ANY, THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS THAT CANNOT BE MITIGATED.
    • This clause was also added “THE COMMISSION, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT, SHALL EVALUATE THE RISK OF CLASS VI INJECTION WELLS BY DETERMINING THE LIKELIHOOD AND SEVERITY OF AN INCIDENT INVOLVING A CLASS VI INJECTION WELL, THE POTENTIAL FOR EXPOSURE FROM SUCH INCIDENT, AND THE OVERALL EFFECT THAT SUCH INCIDENT COULD HAVE ON THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE AND ON THE ENVIRONMENT. Also includes a 2000’ setback from a school, residence or commercial building but gives an out after 4 years and 4 or more wells.
    • Gives Local Governments control over siting and allows them to set fees for EMS response, equipment, and training. This will be key in ensuring dispersion modeling is a matter of public record.
  • SB23-092 | Agricultural Producers Use Of Agrivoltaics | Concerning opportunities in agriculture through agri- and aquavoltaics, and begin the to quantify and monetize carbon sequestration in the soil.
    • Examine greenhouse gas reduction and carbon sequestration opportunities in the agricultural sector, including soil health management practices, the use of dry digesters, and the potential for creating and offering a certified greenhouse gas offset program and credit instruments in the agricultural sector, with a a progress report by October 1, 2024, and a final report, including any recommendations, on or before October 1, 2025.
  • SB23-285 | Energy And Carbon Management Regulation In Colorado | Concerning energy and carbon management regulation in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, changing the name of the oil and gas conservation commission (COGCC) to the energy and carbon management commission (ECMC) and broadening the commission’s regulatory authority to include the regulation of certain geothermal resource operations and intrastate underground natural gas storage facilities.
  • HB23-1272 | Tax Policy That Advances Decarbonization | Tax credits for … for industrial facilities to reduce GHGs via CCS projects.
    • While 1281 (Hydrogen bill) is currently focused on the utility sector’s use of green hydrogen, the tax incentives here may nudge industrial processes like cement and fertilizer toward blue hydrogen (SMR – Steam Methane Reforming) so we’ll have to keep a close eye on this one.

Oil & Gas – 7 bills

  • HB23-1069 | Study Biochar In Plugging Of Oil And Gas Wells
  • HB23-1074 | Study Workforce Transitions To Other Industries | Concerning a study regarding (O&G) workforce transitions to other industries.| Amended to include skills transfer to CCUS/hydrogen tech.
  • HB23-1216 | Natural Gas Pipeline Safety | Concerning measures to promote safety in the distribution of natural gas.
  • HB23-1242 | Water Conservation In Oil And Gas Operations | Concerning water used in oil and gas operations. Good reporting on the use of fresh and toxic produced water, but no definite commitment to reduce freshwater use. Also creates a new department to pursue what can be done with billions of gallons of produced water created annually by frackers.
  • HB23-1294 | Pollution Prevention Measures | Concerning measures to protect communities (particularly those in the nonattainment zone) from pollution. |
    • Allows 3rd party evidence and provides for a new complaint standard. 
    • The Interim Committee this bill establishes should give the state more tools to address air quality problems inherent in fracking.
  • SB23-186 | Oil And Gas Commission Study Methane Seepage Raton Basin | Requires the ECMC to complete a study and establish a new regulatory category. 
  • HB23-1272 | But I can’t think of anything better than making frackers pay to help us stop using their planet-killing products. So I’ll end this summary of 2023 legislation on that very fine note! 

For the final “weekly” legislative update with with more thorough bill language and the positions taken by the CCLC, see this post.

2023 State Climate, Energy, and Environmental Legislation

Following is the bill summary for the entire 2023 Legislative Session.

⭐️ = CCLC Legislation Committee Championed
Click on the bill number to access more details

BILL PASSED THIS SESSION

  • HB23-1005 – New Energy Improvement Program Changes | Expands the C-PACE program |  
  • HB23-1039 – Electric Resource Adequacy Reporting | Ensure planning is adequate for 80% GHGs reduction by 2030 | 
  • ⭐️ HB23-1069 | Study Biochar In Plugging Of Oil And Gas Wells | Concerning the creation of the biochar in oil and gas well plugging working advisory group to make recommendations for the development of a pilot program to study the use of biochar in the plugging of oil and gas wells. | SUPPORT Amended  | 
  • ⭐️ HB23-1074 | Study Workforce Transitions To Other Industries | Concerning a study regarding (O&G) workforce transitions to other industries.| SUPPORT | Amended to include skills transfer to CCUS/hydrogen tech; and look at where in the state (coal plants) workers will be displaced. | 
  • HB23-1101 | Ozone Season Transit Grant Program Flexibility | Concerning increasing the flexibility of the ozone season transit grant program | 
  • HB23-1134 | Require Electric Options In Home Warranties | Concerning requiring a home warranty service contract to allow a homeowner to replace any of certain gas-fueled devices with electric or to receive the retail cash value of the gas-fueled device. | 
  • HB23-1137 | Solar Garden Net Metering Credits Stabilization | Concerning measures to stabilize net metering credits calculated for an electric retail utility’s purchase of electric output from a community solar garden. | 
  • ⭐️ HB23-1161 | Environmental Standards For Appliances | Concerning environmental standards for certain products. | SUPPORT | Amended to include limiting pesticide use, gas fireplace inserts, striking general service lamps (but retaining florescent), low efficiency plumbing, and UPS’s. | 
  • HB23-1210 | Carbon Management | Concerning carbon management, and, in connection therewith, ensuring that carbon management projects are eligible for grants under the industrial and manufacturing operations clean air grant program and providing for the creation of a carbon management roadmap. | OPPOSE
  • HB23-1216 | Natural Gas Pipeline Safety | Concerning measures to promote safety in the distribution of natural gas. | 
  • HB23-1220 | Study Republican River Groundwater Economic Impact | Concerning a study regarding the economic impact of the elimination of large-capacity groundwater withdrawal within the Republican river basin. |
  • HB23-1233 | Electric Vehicle Charging And Parking Requirements | Concerning energy efficiency, and, in connection therewith, requiring the state electrical board to adopt rules facilitating electric vehicle charging at multifamily buildings. | SUPPORT
  • HB23-1234 | Streamlined Solar Permitting And Inspection Grants | Concerning the streamlined solar permitting and inspection grant program. | 
  • ⭐️ HB23-1242 | Water Conservation In Oil And Gas Operations | Concerning water used in oil and gas operations. | SUPPORT
  • HB23-1247 | Assess Advanced Energy Solutions In Rural Colorado | Concerning a requirement that the Colorado energy office conduct studies to assess advanced energy solutions in rural Colorado. | 
  • HB23-1252 | Thermal Energy | Concerning the implementation of measures to advance thermal energy service. | SUPPORT |  
  • HB23-1272 | Tax Policy That Advances Decarbonization | Tax credits for EVs & med/heavy duty trucks; for industrial facilities to reduce GHGs, for geothermal energy projects, for heat pumps, for e-bikes, and for sustainable aviation fuel; and decreasing the tax credit for oil and gas production to pay for it all. | SUPPORT
  • HB23-1281 | Advance The Use Of Clean Hydrogen | Concerning measures to advance the use of clean hydrogen in the state. | OPPOSE
  • HB23-1285 | Store Use Of Carryout Bags And Sustainable Products | Concerning the requirement that a store use fees collected from single-use bags to purchase certain items for the store. | 
  • HB23-1240 | Sales Use Tax Exemption Wildfire Disaster Construction | Concerning a sales and use tax exemption for construction and building materials used for repairing and rebuilding residential structures damaged or destroyed by a declared wildfire disaster in 2020, 2021, or 2022 | 
  • HB23-1273 | Creation Of Wildfire Resilient Homes Grant Program | Concerning the creation of the wildfire resilient homes grant program | 
  • HB23-1294 | Pollution Prevention Measures | Concerning measures to protect communities (particularly those in the nonattainmemt zone) from pollution. |  Though gutted, then amended some more.
  • SB23-005 – Forestry And Wildfire Mitigation Workforce | 
  • SB23-010 – (Permanent) Water Resources And Agriculture Review Committee | 
  • SB23-016 – Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures | SUPPORT with amendments |  
  • ⭐️ SB23-092 | Agricultural Producers Use Of Agrivoltaics | Concerning opportunities for voluntary emission reductions in agriculture. | SUPPORT |
  • SB23-139 | State Severance Tax Trust Fund Allocation | Concerning the appropriation of money from the severance tax operational fund to the wildfire mitigation capacity development fund, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. | 
  • SB23-143 | Retail Delivery Fees | Concerning the administration of the existing retail delivery fees collected by the department of revenue. | 
  • SB23-161 | Financing To Purchase Firefighting Aircraft | Concerning state funding to finance the purchase of a firefighting aircraft to respond to wildfires. | 
  • SB23-166 | Establishment Of A Wildfire Resiliency Code Board | Concerning the establishment of a wildfire resiliency code board, and adopt model codes and within the wildland-urban interface (WUI). | 
  • SB23-177 | CO Water Projects Appropriations | Concerning the funding of Colorado Water Conservation Board Projects, and in connection therewith, making an (enormous) appropriation | 
  • SB23-178 | Water-wise Landscaping In Homeowners’ Association Communities | Concerning removing barriers to water-wise landscaping in common interest communities. | 
  • SB23-186 | Oil And Gas Commission Study Methane Seepage Raton Basin | Concerning methane seepage in the Raton basin of Colorado, and, in connection therewith, requiring the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission to complete a study and establish a new regulatory category. | SUPPORT |
  • SB23-187 | Public Utilities Commission Administrative Fee Setting Transportation Services | Concerning fees paid to the PUC by operators of transportation services in the state, and, in connection therewith, requiring the public utilities commission to establish fees administratively. | 
  • SB23-191 | Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Organics Diversion Study | Concerning a study regarding diversion of organic materials from landfills. | 
  • SB23-192 | Sunset Pesticide Applicators’ Act | Concerning implementing recommendations contained in the 2022 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies regarding the act. | 
  • SB23-198 | Clean Energy Plans | Concerning the verification of clean energy plans to ensure that the plans achieve the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. | SUPPORT
  • SB23-253 | Standards For Products Represented As Compostable | Concerning standards for products represented as compostable in the state. | 
  • SB23-266 | Neonic Pesticides As Limited-use Pesticides | Concerning a requirement that the commissioner of agriculture designate neonicotinoid pesticides as limited-use pesticides. | SUPPORT
  • SB23-285 | Energy And Carbon Management Regulation In Colorado | Concerning energy and carbon management regulation in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, changing the name of the oil and gas conservation commission to the energy and carbon management commission and broadening the commission’s regulatory authority to include the regulation of certain geothermal resource operations and intrastate underground natural gas storage facilities. |  BOO!
  • SB23-291 | Utility Regulation | Concerning the public utilities commission’s regulation of energy utilities. | 
  • SB23-295 | Colorado River Drought Task Force | Concerning the creation of the Colorado river drought task force. | 

(59 bills; 42 passed; 5 championed by the CCLC Leg Comm, all of which passed)

BILLS FAILED THIS SESSION

  • HB23-1010 – Task Force On High-altitude Water Storage |
  • HB23-1018 – Timber Industry Incentives |
  • HB23-1080 | Reliable Alternative Energy Sources | Concerning alternative energy sources, and, in connection therewith, requiring a feasibility study for the use of small modular nuclear reactors as a source of carbon-free energy and increasing capacity of pumped hydro to 400MW | OPPOSE | PI’d by the sponsor so 1247 could move forward
  • HB23-1092 | Limiting Use of State Money | Concerning limitations on the use of state money, and, in connection therewith, requiring the public employees’ retirement association (PERA) to prohibit government contracts with entities that engage in economic boycotts, and invest money eligible for investment solely on financial factors. | OPPOSE |
  • HB23-1127 | Customer’s Right To Use Energy | Concerning a guarantee of a customer’s right to use (fracked gas) energy. | OPPOSE |
  • HB23-1154 | Ballot Issue Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report | Concerning requirements for ballot initiatives to include the projected environmental impact report, requiring the title of the initiative to reflect the findings of the report, and include findings in the ballot information booklet entry for such initiatives. | PI’d by the Sponsor
  • HB23-1163 | Revoke Carbon Dioxide Status As A Pollutant | Concerning a prohibition against classifying carbon dioxide as a pollutant. | OPPOSE |
  • HB23-1166 | Repeal Retail Delivery Fees | Concerning the elimination of retail delivery fees |
  • HB23-1085 | Rural County and Municipality Energy Efficient Building Codes | Concerning the requirements for rural areas to adopt energy efficient building codes, by extending the compliance periods. | Hearing House E&E 2/23 | PI’d at the sponsor’s request
  • HB23-1221 | Water Quality Data Standards | Concerning data standards for the determination of a total maximum daily load for state waters. |
  • HB23-1289 | Sustainable Advancements In Aviation Tax Credits | Concerning income tax credits for sustainability advancements in the aviation industry, and, in connection therewith, allowing an income tax credit for the purchase of electric-powered aviation ground support equipment and allowing an income tax credit for investments made in a business in the state that researches, develops, or produces alternative aviation fuels or alternative aircraft power plants. Replaced more or less by the credits in HB23-1272.
  • SB23-026 | Financial Institution Discrimination Environmental Criteria |
  • SB23-079 | Nuclear Energy As A Clean Energy Resource | Concerning the inclusion of nuclear energy as a source of clean energy.| OPPOSE |
  • SB23-201 | Mineral Resources Property Owners’ Rights | Concerning protections for property owners in the pooling of oil and gas minerals on multiple separately owned tracts. | SUPPORT |
  • HB23-1282 | Protect Consumers From Additional Entities | Concerning persons subject to the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act”, and, in connection therewith, expanding the definition of “person” used for purposes of the act to include a public utility. |
  • SB23-032 – Wildfire Detection Technology Pilot Program |
  • SB23-262 | Water Desalination Study And Report | Concerning requiring the Colorado water conservation board to study the feasibility of water desalination as a potential contributing solution to the crisis of water scarcity in the Colorado river basin. |

(17 fails)

BILL DETAILS

WEEK 15

SB23-285 | Energy And Carbon Management Regulation In Colorado | Concerning energy and carbon management regulation in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, changing the name of the oil and gas conservation commission to the energy and carbon management commission and broadening the commission’s regulatory authority to include the regulation of certain geothermal resource operations and intrastate underground natural gas storage facilities. | SPONSORS: Sens Priola/Hansen, Rep McCormick | SUMMARY: 

Effective July 1, 2023, the bill changes the name of the oil and gas conservation commission to the energy and carbon management commission (commission) and expands the commission’s regulatory authority to include the authority to regulate a broader scope of energy and carbon management areas beyond oil and gas ( section 1 of the bill). The bill also changes the name of the oil and gas conservation and environmental response fund to the energy and carbon management cash fund (fund) and allows the fund to also be used by the commission for the purposes of administering the expanded regulatory areas (section 2).

Current law states that the property right to the natural heat of the earth (geothermal resource) that lacks sufficient fluid associated with the geothermal resource (geothermal fluid) to transport commercial amounts of energy to the surface is an incident of ownership of the overlying surface unless expressly severed. Section 6 states that, as to property rights acquired on or after July 1, 2023, the property right to a geothermal resource associated with nontributary groundwater (allocated geothermal resource) is also an incident of ownership of the overlying surface unless expressly severed.

Current law requires, prior to constructing a well to explore for or produce geothermal resources, the operator of the well to obtain a permit from the state engineer. Section 7 defines different types of geothermal operations and bifurcates regulation of the different operations between the commission and the state engineer. Specifically, the commission is granted the exclusive authority to regulate operations (deep geothermal operations) for the exploration for or production of:

  • An allocated geothermal resource; or
  • A geothermal resource that is deeper than 2,500 feet below the surface.

The state engineer retains the exclusive authority to regulate operations that are not deep geothermal operations (shallow geothermal operations).

Prior to obtaining a permit from the commission to construct a well for deep geothermal operations, the applicant must provide evidence of any applicable siting application to the local government with jurisdiction over the deep geothermal operations, unless the local government does not regulate the siting of such operations. The commission and the state engineer may adopt rules for the assessment of fees for the processing and granting of a permit to construct a well for deep geothermal operations or shallow geothermal operations, as applicable. Any fees collected by the commission will be deposited by the state treasurer into the fund.

Current law requires, prior to the production of geothermal fluid from a well, the operator of the well to obtain a permit from the state engineer. Section 8 instead requires:

  • A permit from the state engineer prior to the use of a geothermal resource that is not an allocated geothermal resource (distributed geothermal resource);
  • The state engineer to issue the permit for the use of a distributed geothermal resource after a determination that the proposed use is in accordance with applicable requirements for groundwater wells;
  • A permit from the state engineer prior to the use of an allocated geothermal resource; and
  • The state engineer to issue a permit for the use of an allocated geothermal resource after a finding that any associated geothermal fluid is nontributary.

Current law allows the state engineer to adopt procedures that establish geothermal management districts for the management of geothermal operations within the district. Section 9 limits the scope of geothermal management districts to distributed geothermal resources. The state engineer is also required to notify the commission of any application for a geothermal management district that is anticipated to affect deep geothermal operations. Section 10 allows the commission to adopt procedures by rule to establish geothermal resource units for allocated geothermal resources. Section 12 grants the commission the exclusive authority to regulate any intrastate facility that stores natural gas in an underground facility that is not a pipeline facility subject to regulation by the public utilities commission (UNGS facility). If the commission submits a certification to, or enters into an agreement with, the federal secretary of transportation pursuant to applicable federal law, any rules regulating UNGS facilities must be at least as stringent as the applicable federal requirements. Before commencing construction of a new UNGS facility, the operator of the facility must provide evidence of any applicable siting application to a local government with jurisdiction over the UNGS facility, if applicable.

The commission may assess and collect fees from operators of UNGS facilities in an amount and frequency determined by the commission by rule. Any fees collected will be deposited into the fund.

The bill directs the commission to conduct the following studies, prepare reports summarizing the findings of the studies, and submit the reports to the general assembly:

  • A technical study of the state’s geothermal resources ( section 10 );
  • A study, in collaboration with the state engineer, that evaluates the state regulatory structure for geothermal resources and whether any changes to law or rules are necessary ( section 10 );
  • A study concerning the regulation and permitting of hydrogen ( section 18 ); and
  • A study, in coordination with the public utilities commission, examining the siting and regulation of interstate pipelines ( section 18 ).

Sections 19 through 42 make conforming amendments.

SB23-291 | Utility Regulation | Concerning the public utilities commission’s regulation of energy utilities. | SPONSORS: Sens Fenberg/Cutter, Reps DeGruy Kennedy/Martinez | SUMMARY:  Section 1 of the bill requires the public utilities commission (commission), if relying on a discount rate when calculating the net present value of future fuel costs as part of a utility’s electric resource plan, to apply a discount rate that does not exceed the long-term rate of inflation. Section 2 requires the commission to establish mechanisms, guidelines, or rules to limit the amount of rate case expenses that an investor-owned electric or gas utility may recover from the utility’s customers. Section 3 prohibits an investor-owned electric or gas utility from recovering various costs from its customers, including:

  • More than 50% of annual total compensation or of expense reimbursement for a utility’s board of directors;
  • Tax penalties or fines issued against the utility;
  • Certain advertising and public relations expenses;
  • Lobbying and other expenses intended to influence the outcome of local, state, or federal legislation or ballot measures;
  • Certain organizational and membership dues;
  • Travel, lodging, food, or beverage expenses for the utility’s board of directors and officers; and
  • Gift or entertainment expenses.

If an investor-owned utility recovers prohibited costs, the commission is required to assess a nonrecoverable penalty against the utility in an amount that is not less than the total amount improperly recovered and order the utility to refund the amount improperly recovered to its customers, plus interest.

Section 4 requires that, on or before November 1, 2023, an investor-owned gas utility file with the commission for the commission’s approval, amendment, or denial a gas price risk management plan that includes proposals for addressing the volatility of fuel costs recovered from the utility’s ratepayers. Section 4 requires the commission to adopt rules, on or before January 1, 2025, to:

  • Help protect investor-owned gas utility customers from the volatility of gas prices by establishing a mechanism that aligns an investor-owned utility’s financial incentives with the financial interests of its customers; and
  • Establish a mechanism to create a financial incentive for an investor-owned utility to improve its electricity production cost efficiency while minimizing its fuel costs.

As part of its rules, the commission may also consider requiring each investor-owned electric utility to bear a percentage of its total fuel costs in order to incentivize the utility to find efficiencies and reduce fuel waste.

Section 4 also requires the commission to open a proceeding to investigate the extent to which residential and other development in certain geographic areas drive natural gas infrastructure costs for any natural gas utility that serves more than 500,000 customers in the state.Section 5 requires:

  • On or before December 31, 2023, each regulated gas utility to remove from the utility’s rate tariffs any incentives offered to an applicant applying for natural gas service to establish gas service to a property;
  • The Colorado energy office to contract with an independent third party, on or before July 1, 2024, to evaluate the risk that stranded or underutilized natural gas infrastructure investments pose and the annual projected rate impact that such stranded assets have on ratepayers;
  • The commission to determine whether any changes to rules or depreciation schedules are warranted based on its review of the evaluation contracted by the Colorado energy office;
  • An investor-owned gas utility to provide the commission information, including a map, about the utility’s gas distribution system pipes;
  • An investor-owned gas utility to refrain from penalizing or charging a fee to a customer that voluntarily terminates gas service. The commission may adopt rules to establish standards for a customer’s voluntary disconnection from an investor-owned gas utility’s gas distribution system.
  • On or before July 1, 2024, the commission to examine existing investor-owned electric utility tariffs, policies, and practices to determine if the tariffs, policies, and practices pose a barrier to the beneficial electrification of buildings with respect to charges imposed for the cost of transformer or service upgrades.

Section 6 authorizes the commission to allow a wholesale customer of an investor-owned utility to intervene in a proceeding regarding the commission’s consideration of the investor-owned utility’s application for cost recovery from customers.

SB23-295 | Colorado River Drought Task Force | Concerning the creation of the Colorado river drought task force. | SPONSORS: Sens Roberts/Will, Reps McCluksie/Catlin (Bi-partisan) | SUMMARY:  The purpose of the task force is to develop recommendations for state legislation that provides additional tools for the Colorado water conservation board to collaborate with the Colorado river water conservation district, the southwestern water conservation district, and other relevant stakeholders in the development of programs that address drought in the Colorado river basin and interstate commitments related to the Colorado river and its tributaries through conservation of the waters of the Colorado river and its tributaries (recommendations). No later than December 15, 2023, the task force must submit a written report that includes the recommendations and a summary of the task force’s work to the water resources and agriculture review committee.

WEEK 14

HB23-1289 | Sustainable Advancements In Aviation Tax Credits | Concerning income tax credits for sustainability advancements in the aviation industry, and, in connection therewith, allowing an income tax credit for the purchase of electric-powered aviation ground support equipment and allowing an income tax credit for investments made in a business in the state that researches, develops, or produces alternative aviation fuels or alternative aircraft power plants. | SPONSORS: Reps Pugliese/Bird, Sens Liston/Bridges (bi-partisan) | SUMMARY:   Section 1 of the bill creates a new refundable income tax credit for income tax years commencing on and after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033, for the purchase or lease of electric-powered aviation ground support equipment that is purchased or leased to replace similar models of gas-powered or diesel-powered aviation ground support equipment in the amount of 18% of the actual cost to purchase the equipment that may be claimed by a qualifying taxpayer; except that the total amount of credits available to be claimed is $250,000 in each tax year and is available on a first come, first served basis. A qualifying taxpayer is an aviation business, an airport, or a fixed base operator. Only one tax credit may be claimed per individual piece of equipment.Section 2 creates a new refundable income tax credit for income tax years commencing on and after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033, for an investment made by a qualified investor in a qualified business that researches, develops, or produces alternative aviation fuels or alternative aircraft powerplants in the amount of 30% of the investment; except that the total amount of credits available to be claimed is capped for each tax year for which the credit is allowed and is available on a first come, first served basis. The investment must be used by the qualified business in furtherance of research, development, or production of alternative aviation fuels or alternative aircraft powerplants. The executive director of the department of revenue is authorized to promulgate rules to implement the tax credit, including precertification of a business as a qualified business eligible to receive a qualified investment. | House Finance 04/17

🚨HB23-1294| Pollution Prevention Measures | Concerning measures to protect communities (particularly those in the nonattainmemt zone) from pollution. | SPONSORS: Reps Bacon/Wilford, Sens Winter/Gonzales | SUMMARY: Section 2 of the bill removes the requirement that the air quality control commission (AQCC) promulgate rules setting the conditions and limitations for periods of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction of a source of air pollution (source) that justify temporary relief from an emission control regulation. Current law provides that a person shall not permit the emission of air pollutants at a nonresidential structure unless an air pollution emission notice has been filed with the division of administration in the department of public health and environment (division). Section 5 adds the requirements that any: Relevant permits have been approved by the division; and Applicable period of review by the federal environmental protection agency has been completed. Section 6 removes the prohibition against the AQCC adopting rules covering indirect sources that are more stringent than applicable federal law.Section 6 also requires the division, in evaluating a construction permit application for a source that includes new oil and gas operations, to: Aggregate emissions from a proposed or modified oil and gas system; and Consider emissions from exploration and preproduction activities if a proposed or modified oil and gas system is in an ozone nonattainment area and if the activities will be conducted beginning May 1 and ending August 31 of any year (ozone season). Section 8 clarifies that only the filing of a renewable operating permit application can operate as a defense to an enforcement action for operating without a permit during the time period that the division or the AQCC is reviewing the permit application. Current law requires the division or the AQCC to give public notice of certain construction permit applications or renewable operating permit applications and of certain public hearings through a newspaper publication or another method that ensures effective public notice. Current law also requires the division to maintain a copy of a construction permit application and applicable preliminary analysis or a notice of public hearing with the county clerk and recorder of the county where the applicable project is located. Section 8 also removes the newspaper publication option and the county clerk and recorder filing requirements and provides for alternative methods of giving public notice, including posting information about the application or any public hearings on the division’s or the AQCC’s website. Current law requires the division or AQCC to make a finding that a source or activity will meet all applicable emission control regulations, including ambient air quality standards (AAQS), before granting a permit for the source or activity. Section 8 also requires that, beginning January 1, 2024, for at least any source or activity that has the potential to emit levels of air contaminants above certain modeling thresholds, the division or AQCC must base any finding that the source or activity will not cause or contribute to an exceedance of applicable AAQS on air quality modeling.Section 8 also allows the division, after an investigation into whether an activity meets the requirements of a construction permit, to propose additional terms and conditions of the construction permit.

With respect to a complaint alleging or the division’s own belief regarding a violation or noncompliance (violation), section 9 requires the division to: Cause a diligent investigation into the violation to be made unless the complaint clearly appears to be frivolous or trivial or the complainant withdraws the complaint; Notify the owner or operator of the applicable air pollution source of the complaint or the division’s belief of an alleged violation within 30 days after the complaint was filed or the division discovered the alleged violation; Consider all relevant evidence that it acquires when investigating the alleged violation; and Determine whether a violation occurred within 90 days after the division gives notice that it has commenced an investigation on the matter. If the division determines that a violation has occurred, current law requires the division to issue a compliance order unless the responsible party gives timely notice that the violation occurred during a period of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction. Section 9 removes the exception for periods of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction. Section 9 also requires, if a hearing is requested after the receipt of a compliance order, the commission to provide at least 45 days’ notice to any complainant that submitted a complaint alleging the applicable violation.Section 9 also allows a complainant to submit a request for a hearing within 20 calendar days after receipt of a determination by the division that no violation occurred.

Current law provides that any noncompliance that occurs during a period of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction exempts the owner or operator of a source from the duty to pay penalties related to that noncompliance. Section 9 removes this provision. Section 9 also allows a person, with respect to certain clean air regulations, to commence a civil action (action) against an alleged violator for a current or past violation of the regulation. A person shall not commence an action until at least 60 days after a notice has been provided to the executive director of the department, the director of the division, and the alleged violator. Except for violations of an ongoing or recurring nature, any action that is not commenced within 5 years after the discovery of the alleged violation is time barred.

Current law requires the division to consider certain factors in determining the amount of a civil penalty to assess for a violation. Section 10 requires the division to also consider the impact of the violation on safety and wildlife and biological resources and the severity of the violation.  Current law provides that any action related to an alleged violation of air quality laws that is not commenced within 5 years after the occurrence of the alleged violation is time barred. Section 11 excludes actions commenced to address a failure to obtain a permit from this statute of limitation. 

Section 12 creates new electrification requirements and emissions standards for stationary engines used in oil and gas operations.Section 13 creates new control measures that must be included in any state implementation plan for ozone adopted by the AQCC until a serious, severe, or extreme ozone nonattainment area in the state is redesignated as a maintenance area by the federal environmental protection agency. 

Section 15 requires the district court, in a suit against a person that has violated a state law, rule, or order related to oil and gas, to award the initial complaining party any costs of litigation incurred by the initial complaining party if the court determines that the award is appropriate. Section 16 allows any person to submit a complaint to the oil and gas conservation commission (COGCC) alleging a violation of a state law, rule, or order related to oil and gas. Upon receipt of the complaint, the COGCC or the director of the COGCC is required to promptly commence and complete an investigation into the violation alleged by the complaint, unless the complaint clearly appears on its face to be trivial or the complainant withdraws the complaint.

Section 17 requires the COGCC to evaluate and address adverse cumulative impacts on the environment and disproportionately impacted communities for each permit application for a new or substantially modified oil and gas location through a cumulative impact analysis. | House E&E 04/20

WEEK 13

HB23-1281 | Advance The Use Of Clean Hydrogen | Concerning measures to advance the use of clean hydrogen in the state. | SPONSORS: Reps Titone/Vigil | SUMARY:  Section 2 of the bill defines clean hydrogen (clean hydrogen) as hydrogen that is: Derived from a clean energy resource that uses water as the source of hydrogen; or Produced through a process that results in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions rates that are less than 1.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilogram of hydrogen, as set forth in applicable federal law. Also directs the PUC to establish a stand-alone application, review, and approval process for investor-owned utility projects that result in the production of clean hydrogen (clean hydrogen project). For a clean hydrogen project to be approved by the commission, an investor-owned utility must submit an application to the commission demonstrating that the clean hydrogen project involves collaboration between the investor-owned utility and a state or federal agency. Any application for a clean hydrogen project must include: Best practices utilized by the investor-owned utility to reduce air emissions and environmental impacts, conduct leak detection monitoring, and increase public safetyIf the investor-owned utility’s clean hydrogen production facilities are located in a disproportionately impacted community, a cumulative impact analysis that evaluates past, present, and future impacts; and An assessment of the annual volume of water used in electrolysis of water to produce clean hydrogen for the clean hydrogen project. Also requires the commission to allow an investor-owned utility to sell clean hydrogen to third parties under a clean hydrogen tariff. For income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033, section 3 creates a state income tax credit in specified amounts per kilogram of clean hydrogen used for industrial operations, for operating a heavy-duty vehicle, or for aviation (tax credit). Any taxpayer seeking to claim the tax credit must first apply for and receive a tax credit certificate from the Colorado energy office.

HB23-1282 | Protect Consumers From Additional Entities | Concerning persons subject to the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act”, and, in connection therewith, expanding the definition of “person” used for purposes of the act to include a public utility. | SPONSORS: Rep Kipp, Sen Priola | SUMMARY: The bill adds a public utility to the definition of “person” in the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act” (Act). In doing so, the bill affords consumers protections against any public utility that violates the Act and subjects a public utility to enforcement actions instituted by the attorney general or district attorneys as authorized by the Act.

HB23-1285 | Store Use Of Carryout Bags And Sustainable Products | Concerning the requirement that a store use fees collected from single-use bags to purchase certain items for the store. | SPONSORS: Rep Valdez | SUMMARY: Currently, a store is required to collect a fee for each carryout bag the store provides to a customer. The store must remit a portion of that fee to the municipality or county (local government) in which the store is located. When the local government has not established a process to accept the remitted fees, the bill requires the store to retain and use the portion of the fee that would otherwise be remitted to a local government to purchase recycled paper carryout bags, 100% recycled cups, or compostable food containers.

SB23-262 | Water Desalination Study And Report | Concerning requiring the Colorado water conservation board to study the feasibility of water desalination as a potential contributing solution to the crisis of water scarcity in the Colorado river basin. | SPONSORS: Sen Priola, Reps Ricks/Soper (Bi-partisan) | SUMARY: The bill requires the Colorado water conservation board (CWCB) to perform a comprehensive literature review of existing research on the challenges and opportunities of desalination facilities in California or Mexico. The literature review must include a summary of the current status of research on desalination, including quantification of certain costs of and benefits that could be realized from the construction and perpetual operation of one or more water desalination facilities in California or Mexico, or both. On or before July 1, 2025, the CWCB must complete the study and submit a report of the CWCB’s findings and recommendations to: The Colorado legislative committees of reference that consider water matters; The governor; and The bureau of reclamation in the federal department of the interior.

SB23-266 | Neonic Pesticides As Limited-use Pesticides | Concerning a requirement that the commissioner of agriculture designate neonicotinoid pesticides as limited-use pesticides. | SPONSORS: Sen Priola, Reps Brown/Kipp | SUMMARY: The bill requires that, on or before January 1, 2024, the commissioner of agriculture adopt rules designating neonicotinoid pesticides as limited-use pesticides, limiting their use to licensed pesticide applicators, and authorizing only licensed dealers to sell them. The commissioner’s rules must exempt certain products that contain neonicotinoid pesticides from the limited-use pesticide designation, including products intended for use: As pet care products; By licensed veterinarians; As indoor personal care products related to lice or bedbugs; As agricultural products; For academic research; and As wood coating products.

WEEK 12

HB23-1272 | Tax Policy That Advances Decarbonization | Concerning tax policy that advances decarbonization, and, in connection therewith, extending tax credits for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles; industrial facilities to implement greenhouse gas emissions reduction improvements, for expenditures made in connection with geothermal energy projects, for the sales tax exemption and deployment of heat pump technology, for retail sales of e-bikes, and for construction of sustainable aviation fuel production facilities; creating a temporary specific ownership tax rate reduction and a temporary sales and use tax exemption on a portion of the sale of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks; and decreasing the tax credit for oil and gas production. | SPONSORS: Reps Weissman/Joseph, Sen Fenberg | SUMMARY:

Section 2 of the bill extends the innovative motor vehicles income tax credit for the purchase or lease of electric motor vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric motor vehicles that weigh 8,500 pounds or less through tax year 2028 and adjusts the amount of the credit that may be claimed, including with certain allowances for additional credit amounts for vehicles purchased or leased at a location that allows the credit to be assigned and is assigned to a motor vehicle dealer or financing entity and for vehicles that have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price below $30,000. However, the credit cannot be claimed for vans, sport utility vehicles, and pickup trucks that have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $80,000 or more or for any other vehicle that has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $55,000 or more. Additionally, if for any one of the state fiscal years 2025-26, 2026-27, or 2027-28, the state is not projected to exceed the state fiscal year spending limit imposed by section 20 of article X of the state constitution by 5% then for any income tax year commencing in the calendar year that begins in that fiscal year, the amount of the credit is reduced by 50%, and if the amount of the reduced credit is at or below $500, then no credit is allowed for such a tax year. 

Section 3 extends the income tax credit for the purchase or lease of an innovative truck through tax year 2028 and adjusts the amount of the credit that may be claimed. However, for light-duty trucks, if for any one of the state fiscal years 2025-26, 2026-27, or 2027-28, the state is not projected to exceed the state fiscal year spending limit imposed by section 20 of article X of the state constitution by 5% then for any income tax year commencing in the calendar year that begins in that fiscal year, the amount of the credit is reduced by 50%, and if the amount of the reduced credit is at or below $500, then no credit is allowed for such a tax year. Additionally, under current law, the innovative motor vehicles tax credit and the innovative trucks tax credit may be assigned by a purchaser to the entity that finances the purchase or lease of the vehicle. Sections 1 and 2 expand the purchaser’s ability to assign the credits to a motor vehicle dealer in addition to a financing entity. For income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, sections 1 and 2 also allow a tax exempt person or political subdivision of the state to claim or assign the tax credit.

Section 4 terminates an existing heat pump tax credit so that it is allowed only for income tax years beginning on and after January 1, 2023, but before January 1, 2024. 

Section 5 creates a refundable income tax credit allowable in tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033, for the owner of an industrial facility that undertakes a industrial study (study) or puts greenhouse gas emissions reduction improvements (improvements) into service. The credit is administered by the Colorado energy office (office). The amount of credit that can be claimed for an industrial study is 30% of the costs paid for completing the study up to $1 million. The amount of credit that can be claimed for improvements is 30% of the capital costs paid by the owner, not including the cost for design; except that for certain improvements that have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions but are not yet commercially available, the office may approve a higher percentage to be claimed of up to 50%. Owners must apply semi-annually for the credit to the office and the office reviews applications and awards a reservation of credits based on a merit-based review. Upon completion of a study or upon putting the improvements into service, the office issues the owner a tax credit certificate to claim the credit in the amount reserved to the owner. The availability of the credit is subject to an aggregate cap each application period. If the aggregate maximum amount is not claimed in a tax year, the aggregate maximum amount in the next income tax year is increased by an amount equal to the excess amount. 

Section 6 creates a refundable tax credit for an expenditure an eligible taxpayer makes in connection with a geothermal energy project, which is a project in the state that is intended to evaluate and develop a geothermal resource for the purpose of electricity production. The office is required to approve geothermal energy projects that can receive a qualified expenditure made by an eligible taxpayer. The office sets the amount of credit an eligible taxpayer may receive and reserves the amount of credit for the income tax year in which the eligible taxpayer anticipates making the expenditure. Subject to specified limits on the maximum amount of credits that the office may approve and that an eligible taxpayer may receive, the office issues a tax credit certificate in the reserved amount of tax credit after an eligible taxpayer submits a cost certification of the qualified expenditure.

Section 7 creates a refundable tax credit for income tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033, that is administered by the office and is available to a person subject to income tax or a person or political subdivision of the state exempt from income tax that produces geothermal electricity for sale or for the person or political subdivision’s own use. The credit amount is equal to $0.003 per kilowatt hour of geothermal electricity that is produced in the state in the tax year, up to a maximum amount of $1 million.

Section 8 creates a new refundable income tax credit for heat pump technology for income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033. The office is responsible for maintaining a list of eligible taxpayers who meet certain industry criteria and who are allowed the credit for the installation of heat pump technology or a thermal energy network if the eligible taxpayer provides a discount from the amount charged for installation, unless the eligible taxpayer installs their own heat pump technology or thermal energy network. The amount of the tax credit is calculated based on the applicable percentage, set annually by the office, of a flat dollar amount which depends on the type of heat pump technology installed and the year the credit is claimed. The calculation of the amount of allowable credit may be modified depending on whether the heat pump technology is installed at a multifamily property, at a nonresidential building, or for a thermal energy network. However, for heat pump technology that is installed in an existing residential building or nonresidential building, if for any one of the state fiscal years 2025-26 through 2032-33, the state is not projected to exceed the state fiscal year spending limit imposed by section 20 of article X of the state constitution by 5% then for any income tax year commencing in the calendar year that begins in that fiscal year, the amount of the credit is reduced by 50%, and if the amount of the reduced credit is at or below $250, then no credit is allowed for such a tax year.

Section 9 creates a refundable income tax credit for income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033, for the sale of new qualifying electric bicycles in the state. The credit is allowed in the amount of $800 to a qualified retailer who sells a qualifying electric bicycle to a resident of the state and offers a discount equal to the lesser of $700 or the purchase price. However, if for any one of the state fiscal years 2025-26 through 2032-33, the state is not projected to exceed the state fiscal year spending limit imposed by section 20 of article X of the state constitution by 5% then for any income tax year commencing in the calendar year that begins in that fiscal year, the amount of the credit is reduced by 50%. 

Section 10 creates a refundable income tax credit for income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033, for a percentage of the actual costs incurred to construct, reconstruct, or erect a sustainable aviation fuel production facility in the state. The credit can be claimed by an aviation business, a sustainable aviation fuel producer, or an airport for the income tax year in which the production facility is put in service and is subject to aggregate caps for each income tax year for which the credit can be claimed. Additionally, the credit is subject to recapture if the sustainable aviation fuel production of a facility comprises less than 60% of the total fuel production of the facility in any of the 5 taxable years immediately following the taxable year in which the facility was placed in service.

Section 11 creates a mechanism to allow for advance payment of income tax credits to a motor vehicle dealer or financing entity that has been assigned the innovative motor vehicle tax credit or innovative truck tax credit, or to a qualified retailer for the electric bicycle tax credit. 

Section 12 creates a sales and use tax exemption for a fleet vehicle that is a heavy-duty truck or a medium-duty truck. For tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2028, the exemption amount is equal to 50% of the purchase price of the vehicle, and for tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2028, but before January 1, 2033, the exemption amount is equal to 60% of the purchase price of the vehicle.

Section 13 terminates an existing sales and use tax exemption for heat pump systems and heat pump water heaters used in commercial or residential buildings so that it is allowed only for income tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, but before January 1, 2024.

Section 14 creates a sales and use tax exemption for all sales to an eligible taxpayer of heat pump technology and equipment necessary for the proper functioning of a thermal energy network and for the storage and use of the same for income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033.

Section 15 reduces the severance tax credit allowed for oil and gas production. Under current law, the amount of credit allowed is calculated by applying rate of 87.5% of all ad valorem taxes assessed during the taxable year for accrual basis taxpayers or paid during the taxable year by cash basis taxpayers upon oil and gas, oil and gas leaseholds and leasehold interests, and oil and gas royalties and royalty interests. The bill reduces the rate to 75% for 2024 and 2025. For tax years beginning on and after January 1, 2026, the bill modifies the calculation for the oil and gas tax that otherwise would have been implemented in tax year 2025 by making a parallel downward adjustment so that the amount of credit is derived by multiplying 65.625% of the gross income of the well by the mill levy fixed in the prior calendar year.

Section 16 requires that for state fiscal years 2024-25 through 2032-33, the revenue collected that is equal to the amount attributable to the decreased amount of severance tax credit allowed for oil and gas production is credited to the general fund; except that on July 1, 2025, the revenue must first be credited to the cash funds used for state fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25 by the office for the administration of the tax credits created by the bill and the remaining money is credited to the state general fund. Additionally, the stakeholder group that was required to convene pursuant to HB22-1391 is required to additionally consider long-term changes for the severance tax credit for oil and gas production. 

Section 17 creates a partial, temporary, and specific ownership tax exemption for new class A or class B personal property that is a fleet vehicle and meets the definition of a category 7 truck for purposes of the innovative truck tax credit.

Section 18 and section 19 allow for cities and counties to opt out of the sales and use tax exemption created for sales of category 7 fleet vehicles that are heavy-duty trucks or medium-duty electric trucks, sales to an eligible taxpayer of heat pump technology and equipment necessary for a proper functioning of a thermal energy network, and for the storage and use of the same for income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2033.

Section 20 gives the office the authority to expend money from the industrial and manufacturing operations clean air grant program cash fund for state fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25 to administer and implement the industrial clean energy tax credit that is created in section 5. 

Section 21 gives the office the authority to expend money from the geothermal energy grant fund for state fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25 to administer and implement the tax credit for expenditure made in connection with a geothermal energy project that is created in section 6 and the geothermal electricity generation production tax credit that is created in section 7.

Section 22 gives the office the authority to expend money from the community access to electric bicycles cash fund for state fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25 to administer and implement the electric bicycle tax credit created in section 9 for state fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25. 

Section 23 gives the office the authority to expend money from the electrifying school buses grant program cash fund for state fiscal years 2023-24 and 2024-25 to administer and implement the changes made to the innovative motor vehicles and innovative trucks tax credits set forth in sections 2 and 3. 

HB23-1273 | Creation Of Wildfire Resilient Homes Grant Program | Concerning the creation of the wildfire resilient homes grant program. | SPONSORS: Reps Snyder/Joseph | SUMMARY:  The bill creates the wildfire resilient homes grant program (program) within the division of fire prevention and control (division). The program allows homeowners to apply to receive a grant for retrofitting or improving a house or other structure on the homeowner’s property with strategies and technologies for structure hardening in order to make the house or structure more resilient to the risk of wildfire. The bill also creates the wildfire resilient homes grant program cash fund (fund) for use by the division to award grants and to promote best practices for structure hardening, and on August 15, 2023, the state treasurer is required to transfer $2 million from the general fund to the fund. The division is required to annually report to the wildfire matters review committee on expenditures made from the fund and grants that are awarded pursuant to the program.

SB23-253 | Standards For Products Represented As Compostable | Concerning standards for products represented as compostable in the state. | SPONSORS: Sen Cutter, Rep Froelich | SUMMARY: The bill creates standards for products capable of undergoing decomposition in a controlled composting system. A producer is prohibited from representing a product as compostable unless the product has received certification by a recognized, independent, third-party verification body that the product is compostable (certified compostable). The product must also comply with specific labeling standards that ensure that the product is easily and immediately distinguishable as certified compostable at point of sale and point of use and in a public sorting area and processing facility. A producer of a product that is not certified compostable is prohibited from marketing or advertising the product that imply that the plastic product will eventually break down, fragment, biodegrade, or decompose in a landfill or other environment. On or before January 1, 2024, the department is required to establish a forum that allows any person to file a complaint against a producer for violation of the standards. On and after January 1, 2024, a producer that violates the standards engages in an unfair or deceptive trade practice.

WEEK 11

HB23-1252 | Thermal Energy | Concerning the implementation of measures to advance thermal energy service. | SPONSORS: Reps Lieder/Kipp | SUMMARY:  Authorizes the Colorado energy office to award grants for retrofitting existing buildings for installation of a geothermal system for heating and cooling under the single-structure geothermal grant that the office administers and under the geothermal electricity generation grant that the office administers.  Adds thermal energy as an eligible clean heat resource for helping to meet clean heat targets. A gas utility that is regulated by the commission and that serves more than 500,000 customers is required to propose pilot thermal energy network projects for the commission’s review and approval. The commission shall initiate a proceeding on or before January 1, 2025, to determine if rule-making or legislative changes are needed to facilitate the development of thermal energy in the state.

SB23-201 | Mineral Resources Property Owners’ Rights | Concerning protections for property owners in the pooling of oil and gas minerals on multiple separately owned tracts. | SPONSORS: Sen Jaquez Lewis, Reps Boesenecker/Weissman | SUMMARY: The COGCC (commission), under certain circumstances and after notice and a hearing, may enter a pooling order for a drilling unit, which order includes an owner of mineral interests that does not consent to the drilling for oil and gas on the mineral owner’s tract (forced pooling order). The bill changes the commission’s process for entering a forced pooling order by: Requiring an applicant for a forced pooling order to prove that owners of more than 45% of the mineral interests to be pooled consent to pooling by submitting to the commission a third-party expert’s title report or title opinion; Requiring the commission to determine if the minerals in the drilling unit may be extracted without disturbing a nonconsenting mineral interest owner’s mineral rights and, if so, requiring the commission to include in the forced pooling order a condition that the nonconsenting mineral interest owner’s mineral rights not be disturbed. Alternatively, if the commission determines that the minerals cannot be extracted without disturbing the nonconsenting mineral interest owner’s mineral rights, the commission is required to make explicit findings of that determination;  Requiring that a forced pooling order be issued in a manner that protects and minimizes adverse impacts on public health, safety, and welfare; the environment; and wildlife resources and that protects against adverse environmental impacts on any air, water, soil, or biological resources resulting from oil and gas operations; Reducing the amount of production costs that consenting mineral interest owners in a drilling unit may recover from a nonconsenting mineral interest owner in the drilling unit; and Prohibiting the commission from entering a forced pooling order that includes an unleased, nonconsenting mineral owner that is a local government or a school district, including a charter school or an institute charter school. Additionally, the bill requires that the commission issue a pooling order before any minerals that are subject to the pooling order are extracted or any well is drilled to access the minerals. The bill also authorizes a nonconsenting owner to audit or cause to be audited certain records of the oil and gas operator no more frequently than every 3 years but before any costs are recovered from the drilling unit.

WEEK 10

HB23-1247 | Assess Advanced Energy Solutions In Rural Colorado | Concerning a requirement that the Colorado energy office conduct studies to assess advanced energy solutions in rural Colorado. | SPONSORS: Reps Lukens/Winter, Sens Roberts/Pelton | SUMMARY: The bill requires the director of the Colorado energy office to conduct studies to assess the use of advanced energy solutions in rural Colorado. One study must consider ways to assist northwestern and west end of Montrose county Colorado as it transitions to producing advanced firm dispatchable energy resources. The other study must consider the potential for the development of new energy resources(INCLUDING GEOTHERMAL, “CLEAN” HYDROGEN, ADVANCED NUCLEAR, CARBON CAPTURE NATURAL GAS POWER PLANTS, AND LONG DURATION STORAGE.) in southeastern Colorado. Targeted to the San Luis Valley, Nucla, Naturita, Montrose, Craig, and Hayden with focus on transferring coal-worker skills. The bill specifies information that the director is required to consider in both studies by 7/1/25.

SB23-191 | Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment Organics Diversion Study | Concerning a study regarding diversion of organic materials from landfills. | SPONSORS: Sen Cutter, Reps Joseph/Kipp | SUMMARY: The bill requires the CDPHE to study the impacts, benefits, and feasibility of requiring diversion of organic materials from landfills and report by 8/1/24. The study must: Incorporate and utilize data from existing Colorado studies and other states; Explore how to leverage existing organics diversion pilot projects in Colorado; Evaluate the environmental benefits of diversion of organic materials from landfills; identify the infrastructure needed; Create actionable parameters for local governments to use; Create a timeline to effectively and equitably phase in diversion; Outline and recommend policies and regulations that would enable diversion of organic materials from landfills; and Identify opportunities for end-market development of organic materials diverted from landfills. The bill authorizes the use of money in the front range waste diversion cash fund and the recycling resources economic opportunity fund to pay for costs associated with conducting the study.

SB23-192 | Sunset Pesticide Applicators’ Act | Concerning implementing recommendations contained in the 2022 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies regarding the act. | SPONSORS: Sens Priola/Roberts, Reps Kipp/McLachlan | SUMMARY: The bill implements some of the recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies: Continue the act for 11 years, until September 1, 2034; updates the statutory definition of “use” to align with the federal definition adopted by the federal environmental protection agency; increases the maximum civil penalty for a violation of the act from $1,000 to $2,500 for the first violation, which results in the possibility of a maximum civil penalty of $5,000 for a second violation; requires the commissioner to establish an online complaint process; limits the number of terms that members of the advisory committee may serve to 2 terms, but allows a member representing the Colorado state university agricultural experiment station or the CDPHE to serve on the advisory committee for unlimited terms during the duration of the member’s employment with CSU or CDPHE; and places language in statutes governing local governments that mirrors the language in the act requiring a local government that adopts an ordinance or resolution about pesticides to submit information to the commissioner about the ordinance or resolution.

SB23-198 | Clean Energy Plans | Concerning the verification of clean energy plans to ensure that the plans achieve the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. | SPONSORS: Sen Winter, Rep Weissman | SUMMARY:  If an entity’s current clean energy plan does not achieve the 2027 clean energy target, the entity must submit a revised clean energy plan to CDPHE by 12/31/24. The CDPHE shall, in consultation with the PUC, verify that the revised clean energy plan meets the 2027 clean energy target. The bill also requires any entity that submits a clean energy plan to the division on or after July 1, 2023, to base the entity’s 2005 baseline greenhouse gas emissions, estimated 2027 GHG emissions, and estimated 2030 GHG emissions on: The GHG emissions from each resource that is used to supply electricity to the entity’s retail electricity customers; and The GHG emissions from each resource that generates electricity and that is owned by the entity if the applicable GHG emissions are not otherwise required to be included in another entity’s clean energy plan. The bill also requires the CDPHE to independently confirm or calculate the data it uses in verifying a clean energy plan submitted to the division on or after July 1, 2023, and allow the public to access and provide comments about the data prior to the verification of a clean energy plan. No later than June 1, 2028, the division must: Calculate the percentage of reduction in GHG emissions for each entity that is required to submit a clean energy plan and does not have its electric resource planning process regulated by the PUC; and

Determine whether each entity that is required to submit a clean energy plan and does not have its electric resource planning process regulated by the PUC has obtained all of the resources necessary to achieve the 2030 clean energy target.

If the division determines that an entity has not obtained all of the resources necessary to achieve the 2030 clean energy target, no later than December 31, 2028, the entity must submit a report to the division identifying the resources that it has procured to achieve the 2030 clean energy target (report). If the entity does not submit the report on or before December 31, 2028, or if the CDPHE determines from the report that an entity has not obtained all of the resources necessary to achieve the 2030 clean energy target, the air quality control commission (AQCC) shall adopt rules that limit the GHG emissions by the entity to ensure that the entity achieves the 2030 clean energy target and that direct the division to amend any of the entity’s operating permits for sources of GHG emissions to ensure that the entity achieves the 2030 clean energy target.

The bill also requires: If a utility’s Colorado electricity sales between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, are equal to or greater than 300,000 megawatt-hours, the utility to submit a clean energy plan to the division; and The owner of an electric generating unit that has a nameplate capacity equal to or larger than 50 megawatts to submit a clean energy plan to the division that covers all GHG emissions from the unit that are not otherwise required to be included in the clean energy plan of another entity. No later than October 1, 2024, the division shall submit a report to the general assembly that includes certain data regarding which electric utilities have submitted clean energy plans to the division and the electricity generation resources that are responsible for GHG emissions in the state. No later than December 31, 2024, the division shall issue guidance specifying the manner in which the division will track and account for GHG emissions associated with electricity utility transactions in organized markets.

The bill defines “cooperative retail electric utility” as a retail electric utility that has: Indicated an intent to submit or, after January 1, 2021, has submitted a clean energy plan; and Provided a non-conditional notice that it is withdrawing from a wholesale generation and transmission cooperative after January 1, 2021, or enters into a partial requirements contract with a wholesale generation and transmission cooperative to obtain more than 5% of its firm capacity supply from a greenhouse-gas-emitting source other than the wholesale generation and transmission cooperative (cooperative retail electric utility). A cooperative retail electric utility must submit a clean energy plan to the division no later than 18 months after ceasing to be a member of a wholesale generation and transmission cooperative or after the date that a partial requirements contract begins. The division shall verify, in consultation with the PUC, that any cooperative retail electric utility’s clean energy plan achieves the 2027 clean energy target and the 2030 clean energy target. The bill also defines “wholesale power marketer” as an entity operating in the state that supplies wholesale capacity or energy to a retail electric utility located in the state (wholesale power marketer). A wholesale power marketer must submit a clean energy plan with the division if, on or after July 1, 2023: The wholesale power marketer sells, provides, arranges for, or contracts for the delivery of capacity or energy to a retail electric utility in the state; and The GHG emissions associated with the retail electric utility’s operations are not otherwise required to be included in another entity’s clean energy plan. The division must verify, in consultation with the PUC, that any clean energy plan submitted by a wholesale power marketer achieves the 2027 clean energy target and the 2030 clean energy target. The bill also defines “new electric utility” as any new electric utility that is incorporated, created, or otherwise formed on or after July 1, 2023, that: Serves retail customers in the state; and Sells 300,000 megawatt-hours or more of electricity in its first year of operation (new electric utility). A new electric utility must submit a clean energy plan to the division no later than 2 years after being incorporated, created, or otherwise formed. If a new electric utility does not submit a clean energy plan to the division within this time, the AQCC shall adopt rules to reduce the GHG emissions by the new electric utility to ensure that the new electric utility achieves the 2027 clean energy target and the 2030 clean energy target.

WEEK 9

HB23-1233 | Electric Vehicle Charging And Parking Requirements | Concerning energy efficiency, and, in connection therewith, requiring the state electrical board to adopt rules facilitating electric vehicle charging at multifamily buildings, limiting the ability of the state electrical board to prohibit the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, forbidding private prohibitions on electric vehicle charging and parking, requiring local governments to count certain spaces served by an electric vehicle charging station for minimum parking requirements, forbidding local governments from prohibiting the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, exempting electric vehicle chargers from business personal property tax, and authorizing electric vehicle charging systems along highway rights-of-way. | SPONSORS: Reps Mauro/Valdez, Sens Priola/Winter | SUMMARY: Section 2 of the bill requires the state electrical board (board) to adopt rules requiring compliance, starting January 1, 2024, with the provisions of the model electric ready and solar ready code that require multifamily buildings to be electric vehicle (EV) capable and EV ready and to have EV supply equipment installed. The board is precluded from adopting rules that prohibit the installation or use of EV charging stations unless the rules address a bona fide safety concern.

Current law prohibits a landlord from unreasonably prohibiting the installation of EV charging equipment in the leased premises. This prohibition applies only to residential rental property. Section 3 broadens this prohibition to apply to an assigned or a deeded parking space for the leased premises, to parking spaces accessible to both the tenant and other tenants, and to commercial rental property. Section 3 also requires a landlord to allow an EV or a plug-in hybrid vehicle to park on the premises. 

Current law prohibits, when a person owns a unit in a common interest community, such as a condominium, the association that manages the community (association) from unreasonably prohibiting the installation of EV charging equipment in the unit. Section 4 broadens this prohibition to apply to assigned or deeded parking spaces for the unit or parking spaces accessible to both the unit owner and other unit owners. Section 4 also requires a common interest community to allow an EV or a plug-in hybrid vehicle to park at the premises.

Current law grants a local government the ability to regulate parking, and this regulation includes requiring that buildings meet minimum parking standards. Sections 5, 6, and 7 require the local government, when counting minimum parking spaces, to count:

  • Any parking space that is served by an EV charging station as at least one standard automobile parking space; and
  • Any van-accessible parking space that is wheelchair accessible and served by an EV charging station as at least 2 standard automobile parking spaces.

Sections 8 and 9 prohibit local governments from adopting an ordinance or a resolution that prohibits the installation or use of EV charging stations unless the ordinance or resolution addresses a bona fide safety concern.Section 10 exempts, until 2030, EV charging systems from the levy and collection of property tax.

Federal law prohibits the construction of automotive service stations or other commercial establishments for serving motor vehicle users along interstate highway rights-of-way, including rest areas. Due to this prohibition, the state cannot construct EV charging systems along interstate highway rights-of-way, including rest areas, in the state. Section 11 specifies that, when the federal law no longer prohibits the construction of EV charging systems along interstate highway rights-of-way, the department of transportation may collaborate with public or private entities to develop projects for the construction of EV charging systems along interstate highway rights-of-way. 

HB23-1234 | Streamlined Solar Permitting And Inspection Grants | Concerning the streamlined solar permitting and inspection grant program. | SPONSORS: Reps Brown/Soper, Sen Roberts (Bi-Partisan) | SUMMARY: The bill creates the streamlined solar permitting and inspection grant program (program). The program will grant money to local governments to implement free automated permitting and inspection software. To support the implementation of free automated permitting and inspection software by local governments, the state treasurer will transfer one million dollars from the general fund to the program in fiscal year 2022-23. The money is continuously appropriated.

The bill requires the Colorado energy office (office) to administer the program by developing procedures to award money to applicants, establishing a process for applicants to apply for money, requiring applicants to demonstrate expected costs to implement the automated permitting and inspection software, and beginning to approve applicants no later than June 30, 2024. A grantee must implement the free automated permitting software within 180 days of receipt of grant money. Grantees are required to report to the office the implementation status of the free automated permitting software one year after being granted the money and each year thereafter for 4 years. The office is required to report to the house of representatives energy and environment committee, the senate transportation committee, and the joint budget committee the progress of the grant program yearly beginning on January 1, 2025, and continuing until the repeal of the program on July 1, 2034.

HB23-1240 | Sales Use Tax Exemption Wildfire Disaster Construction | Concerning a sales and use tax exemption for construction and building materials used for repairing and rebuilding residential structures damaged or destroyed by a declared wildfire disaster in 2020, 2021, or 2022. | SPONSORS: Reps Brown/Amabile, Sen Fenberg | SUMMARY: Section 1 of the bill creates a state sales and use tax exemption for construction and building materials purchased on or after January 1, 2020, but before July 1, 2025, to be used directly in rebuilding or repairing a residential structure damaged or destroyed by a declared wildfire disaster in calendar year 2020, 2021, or 2022 (wildfire rebuild exemption).

A homeowner, or a contractor employed by a homeowner, may obtain a wildfire rebuild exemption certificate from the local government authorized to issue a building permit in the area in which the residential structure to be repaired or rebuilt is located. To be qualified, a homeowner must certify that:

  • The homeowner was the owner of each residential structure to be repaired or rebuilt at the time the structure was damaged or destroyed by the declared wildfire disaster; and
  • The replacement cost for each residential structure to be repaired or rebuilt exceeds the homeowner’s coverage under any homeowner’s insurance policy associated with the structure.

To claim the exemption, the qualified homeowner, or contractor employed by such homeowner, must provide a copy of the wildfire rebuild exemption certificate to each retailer from which the homeowner or contractor purchases exempt construction or building materials. If a qualified homeowner, or contractor employed by such homeowner, has paid state sales or use tax on the purchase of exempt construction or building materials on or after January 1, 2020, but before July 1, 2025, then the person who made the purchase may apply to the department of revenue for a refund pursuant to existing sales and use tax refund procedures. Alternatively, if the purchaser-contractor has not been granted a refund, the homeowner for whom the exempt materials were purchased may apply for a refund by establishing certain existing statutory requirements are met.

Sections 2 and 3 include the wildfire rebuild exemption among other exemptions available to state-collected and administered local sales and use tax jurisdictions, including statutory cities and counties, for adoption at their discretion.

⭐️HB23-1242 | Water Conservation In Oil And Gas Operations | Concerning water used in oil and gas operations. | SPONSORS: Boesenecker/Joseph, Sen Cutter | SUMMARY: The bill requires an oil and gas operator in the state (operator), on or before January 31, 2024, and at least annually thereafter, to report information to the COGCC regarding the operator’s use of water entering, utilized at, or exiting each of the operator’s oil and gas locations. The bill also requires the commission to adopt rules requiring that: 

  • When issuing an operator a new or renewed oil and gas permit on or after June 1, 2024, the commission include as a condition of the permit a requirement that the operator use a decreasing percentage of fresh water and a corresponding increasing percentage of recycled or reused water in the operator’s oil and gas operations; and
  • Each oil and gas operator, on and after January 1, 2024, report on a monthly basis to the commission about the daily vehicle miles traveled for any trucks hauling water to, within, or from the operator’s oil and gas operations in the state.

From the information reported to the commission under the bill, the commission is required to:

  • Include the information as part of the commission’s annual reporting on cumulative impacts of oil and gas operations;
  • Report to the division of administration (division) in the department of public health and environment, on a per-incident basis, any indication of technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material or PFAS chemicals present in produced water; and
  • On a quarterly basis, submit a cumulative report to the CDPHE and CDOT on reported vehicle miles traveled and public roads traveled. 

SB23-186 | Oil And Gas Commission Study Methane Seepage Raton Basin | Concerning methane seepage in the Raton basin of Colorado, and, in connection therewith, requiring the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission to complete a study and establish a new regulatory category. | SPONSORS: Sens Pelton/Winter, Reps Winter/Willford (Bi-partisan) | SUMMARY: The bill requires the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission (commission), in consultation with local governments, to perform a study that:

  • Recognizes best management practices for capturing methane seepage in the Raton basin;
  • Confirms the high quality of water resulting from such methane capture operations; and
  • Confirms the high potential to preserve and make beneficial use of such water.

The commission must complete the study and submit it to legislative committees of reference by December 1, 2023.

The bill also requires the commission to implement a regulatory category for methane recovery in the Raton basin, which category includes consideration of enforcement, financial assurance, flow lines, forms, operator guidance, orphan well programs, rules, and policies and allows for beneficial uses deemed prudent by local governments. 

SB23-187 | Public Utilities Commission Administrative Fee Setting Transportation Services | Concerning fees paid to the public utilities commission by operators of transportation services in the state, and, in connection therewith, requiring the public utilities commission to establish fees administratively. | SPONSORS: Sens Winter/Rodriguez | SUMMARY: Current law requires that, if the uncommitted reserves in the motor carrier fund (fund) exceed 10% of the fund’s expenditures, the amount of the uncommitted reserves in the fund that are attributable to the registration fees paid by motor carriers and other transportation providers required to register with the United States department of transportation under the unified carrier registration system must be transferred from the fund to the motor carrier safety fund. Section 1 of the bill adjusts the amount of uncommitted reserves that triggers the transfer from 10% to 16.5%.

Under current law, various fees imposed on motor carriers are either specified in statute or set administratively by the public utilities commission (commission). Sections 2 and 3 remove the statutorily set fees and instead authorize the commission to set the motor carrier fees administratively.Section 4 requires, on and after January 1, 2024, that the commission establish transportation network company permit fees administratively. The commission may adopt rules establishing different tiers of permit fees for distinct types of transportation network companies based on the commission’s consideration of market factors.

Week 8

HB23-1220 | Study Republican River Groundwater Economic Impact | Concerning a study regarding the economic impact of the elimination of large-capacity groundwater withdrawal within the Republican river basin, and, in connection therewith, requiring the Colorado water center to conduct the study and report its findings and conclusions to certain legislative committees. | SPONSORS: Reps Holthorf/McCormick (bi-partisan) | SUMMARY: The bill requires the Colorado water center (center) in the Colorado state university to study the anticipated economic effects of the forced elimination of groundwater withdrawals within and surrounding the Colorado portion of the Republican river basin that could occur if Colorado fails to comply with the resolution. The center is required to prepare a progress report and, on or before January 1, 2026, a final report of the center’s findings and conclusions from the study and to post both reports on the center’s website. The center must present the progress and final reports to certain legislative committees.

HB23-1221 | Water Quality Data Standards | Concerning data standards for the determination of a total maximum daily load for state waters. | SPONSORS: Reps Soper/Mauro, Sen Simpson | SUMMARY: The bill requires the division of administration in the department of public health and environment, on and after January 1, 2024, to use quality-assured data to determine the maximum amount of a pollutant that can be discharged daily into state waters without exceeding applicable water quality standards.

SB23-139 | State Severance Tax Trust Fund Allocation | Concerning the appropriation of money from the severance tax operational fund to the wildfire mitigation capacity development fund, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. | SPONSORS: Sens Zenziger/Kirkmeyer, Reps Sirota/Bockenfeld (Bi-partisan) | SUMMARY: Joint Budget Committee. The bill authorizes the general assembly to appropriate up to $10 million from the severance tax operational fund (operational fund) to the wildfire mitigation capacity development fund (wildfire fund) for fiscal year 2022-23 and makes a corresponding appropriation. The bill authorizes the general assembly to appropriate up to $5 million from the operational fund to the wildfire fund beginning in fiscal year 2023-24 and in each fiscal year thereafter. Such appropriations may be made only if less than 100% of the money available in the operational fund is used for current core programs.

SB23-177 | CO Water Projects Appropriations | Concerning the funding of Colorado Water Conservation Board Projects, and in connection therewith, making an (enormous) appropriation | SPONSORS: Sens Roberts/Simpson (Bi-partisan) | SUMMARY: The bill appropriates the following amounts for the 2023-24 state fiscal year from the Colorado water conservation board (CWCB) construction fund to the CWCB or the division of water resources in the department of natural resources for the following projects:

  • Continuation of the satellite monitoring system, $380,000;
  • Continuation of the floodplain map modernization program, $500,000;
  • Continuation of the weather modification permitting program, $500,000;
  • Continuation of the watershed restoration program, $500,000;
  • Continuation of the Colorado Mesonet project, $150,000
  • Continuation of the weather forecasting partnership project, $1,000,000;
  • Support for the division of water resources mobile field data collection application project, $800,000;
  • Continuation of the reservoir enlargement assessment project, $1,000,000;
  • Support for the central Colorado water conservancy district augmentation efficiency project, $3,000,000; and
  • Support for the state water plan action advancement project, $2,000,000.

The bill directs the state treasurer to transfer the following amounts on July 1, 2023, from the severance tax perpetual base fund to the CWCB construction fund, and appropriates those amounts from the CWCB construction fund to the CWCB for the following projects:

  • Continuation of the Platte river recovery implementation program, $19,000,000;
  • Support for the upper Colorado river endangered fish recovery program and the San Juan river basin recovery implementation program, $15,000,000; and
  • Additional and continued support for the Frying Pan – Arkansas project, $20,000,000.

The bill directs the state treasurer to transfer the following amounts from the CWCB construction fund on July 1, 2023:

  • $2,000,000 to restore the fish and wildlife resources fund;
  • Up to $2,000,000 to the CWCB litigation fund; and
  • $2,000,000 to the water plan implementation cash fund for continuation of the water plan implementation grant program.
  • Section 17 appropriates $10,600,000 of sports betting revenues from the water plan implementation cash fund and $2,000,000 from the CWCB construction fund to the CWCB to fund grants that will help implement the state water plan.
  • Section 18 appropriates $8,000,000 from the wildlife cash fund to the division of parks and wildlife to purchase up to 924 acre-feet of orphan shares from the CWCB as part of the Chatfield reservoir reallocation project.

SB23-178 | Water-wise Landscaping In Homeowners’ Association Communities | Concerning removing barriers to water-wise landscaping in common interest communities. | SPONSORS: Sens Jaquez Lewis/Will, Rep McCormick | SUMMARY: The bill states that an association’s guidelines or rules must: Not prohibit the use of nonvegetative turf grass in the backyard of a unit owner’s property; Not unreasonably require the use of hardscape on more than 20% of the landscaping area of a unit owner’s property; Allow a unit owner an option that consists of at least 80% drought-tolerant plantings; and Not prohibit vegetable gardens in the front, back, or side yard of a unit owner’s property. The bill also requires an association to permit the installation of at least 3 garden designs that are preapproved by the association for installation in front yards within the common interest community. To be preapproved, a garden design must adhere to the principles of water-wise landscaping and emphasize drought-tolerant and native plants. The bill allows a unit owner who is affected by an association’s violation of the new requirements to bring a civil action to restrain further violation and to recover damages in an amount equal to actual damages plus $500, plus any other damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

Week 7 Bills

HB23-1216 | Natural Gas Pipeline Safety | Concerning measures to promote safety in the distribution of natural gas. | SPONSOR: Rep Story | SUMMARY: The bill requires the PUC gas pipeline safety rules, on or before March 1, 2024, for: The inspection of gas meters and service regulators no more often than every 36 months; and the re/installation of service regulators so that any vents are at least 12 inches above ground. Also requiring a gas distributor: Provide written notice to the customer, within 90 days after the installation of the customer-owned service line, who’s responsible for the maintenance; and Obtain a signed copy of the written notice from the customer.

Week 6 Bills

⭐️ HB23-1210 | Carbon Management | Concerning carbon management, and, in connection therewith, ensuring that carbon management projects are eligible for grants under the industrial and manufacturing operations clean air grant program and providing for the creation of a carbon management roadmap. | SPONSORS: Rep Dickson, Sen Hansen | SUMMARY: The CCUS train is leaving the station, whether it’s viable, or cost-effective, or not.  This bill prohibits EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery) from inclusion in any future funding opportunities, but encourages companies to pursue carbon capture—including DAC—and the use of CO2 pipelines, and requires the Energy Office to create a CCUS Roadmap for the legislature in 2025. There’s a lot to like and a lot to dislike about this bill, so here are the gory details:

Specifically, the roadmap will examine: (I) CONSTRUCTION; (II) AGRICULTURE; (III) FOREST MANAGEMENT; (IV) MINE RECLAMATION; (V) INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING; (VI) CEMENT AND CONCRETE; (VII) FOOD AND BEVERAGE; AND (VIII) EXISTING OIL AND GAS INFRASTRUCTURE AND WORKFORCE; (b) THE NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT CARBON MANAGEMENT, SUCH AS: (I) THE BEST RESERVOIRS FOR CARBON DIOXIDE STORAGE; (II) EXISTING CARBON DIOXIDE PIPELINES AND HOW THOSE PIPELINES CAN BEST BE CONNECTED WITH PIPELINES NEEDED FOR INDUSTRIAL CARBON MANAGEMENT TO MINIMIZE RISK, INCLUDING RISK TO DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED COMMUNITIES; AND (III) INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ALLOWS ACCESS TO CLEAN ENERGY RESOURCES FOR CARBON MANAGEMENT PROJECTS THAT WOULD: (A) ATTRACT COMPANIES TO DEVELOP OR DEPLOY CARBON MANAGEMENT IN THE STATE; B) ENCOURAGE THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW CARBON MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES; (C) SUPPORT THE EXPANSION OF CARBON MANAGEMENT COMPANIES IN THE STATE; (D) CATALYZE PRIVATE INVESTMENT AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT IN CARBON MANAGEMENT BY APPLYING GAP FUNDING OR OTHER SUPPORT FOR CARBON MANAGEMENT PROJECTS INVOLVING PRIVATE SECTOR PROVIDERS AND BUYERS; AND (E) FOSTER CARBON MANAGEMENT PROJECTS IN THE STATE. Fortunately it has provisions to restrict any efforts that have impacts on public health or DI Communities, or benefit habitual offenders or violators of air permits. Unfortunately, and it bears repeating, this roadmap has no requirement to evaluate cost effectiveness or even viability of the technology. 

SB23-143 | Retail Delivery Fees | Concerning the administration of the existing retail delivery fees collected by the department of revenue. | SPONSORS: Sens Fenberg/Van Winkle | SUMMARY: In short, the bill allows retailers to include the delivery fee in the price rather than add it as a separate line item, lightens the load of delivery fees for small and new businesses, and exempts delivery fees that would be higher than the merchandise itself.

SB23-161 | Financing To Purchase Firefighting Aircraft | Concerning state funding to finance the purchase of a firefighting aircraft to respond to wildfires. | SPONSORS: Sens Fenberg/Will, Reps Lynch/McCluskie (Bi-partisan) SUMMARY: Spending another $80M on another fire hawk helicopter because it’s easier to justify money spent on the symptoms of climate change than the cause.

SB23-166 | Establishment Of A Wildfire Resiliency Code Board | Concerning the establishment of a wildfire resiliency code board, and adopt model codes and within the wildland-urban interface (WUI). | SPONSORS: Sens Cutter/Exum, Reps Froelich/Velasco | SUMMARY: The bill establishes a wildfire resiliency code board in the department of public safety for ensuring community safety from and reducing the risk of wildfires to people and property. The board will adopt codes and standards for the hardening of structures and parcels in the wildland-urban interface in Colorado, including defining the WUI and identify areas of the state that are within it; Adopt minimum codes and standards based on best practices to reduce the risk to life and property from the effects of wildfires; Identify hazards and types of buildings, entities, and defensible space around structures to which the codes apply; and establish a process for a governing body to petition the board for a modification to the codes and establish the criteria and process for the board to grant or deny an appeal from a decision of the board on a petition for modification. The bill also creates a cash fund and continuously appropriates the money in the fund to the department to implement the provisions of the bill.

Week 4 bills (no week 5 bills)

HB23-1127 | Customer’s Right To Use Energy | Concerning a guarantee of a customer’s right to use (fracked gas) energy. | SPONSORS: Rep Winter (not to be confused with Sen Faith Winter!), Sen Paisley | SUMMARY: The ban on the ban of fracked gas hookups is back! The annual clap trap about how we can all have solar, plus micro wind turbines and miniature hydroelectric dams to power our homes, and oh, also fracked gas. | OPPOSE | Postponed Indefinitely

HB23-1163 | Revoke Carbon Dioxide Status As A Pollutant | Concerning a prohibition against classifying carbon dioxide as a pollutant. | SPONSORS: Rep ‘what’s the frequency Kenneth’ DeGraaf, Bottoms, Winter (not that one!) | SUMMARY: Bunch of Leg Dec BS regarding the ‘minimal’ negative effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a contributor to greenhouse gases in comparison to other, ‘more harmful’ emissions (Here’s a parody clip of John McLaughlin yelling “Wrong!”) Prohibits the classification of carbon dioxide as a pollutant in the state…and any/all regulations AND must not include the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant. Any portion of an executive agency rule that treats carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant is void. (My grandfather had an expression that seems apt here: “This ain’t worth the power and lead to blow it up.”) | OPPOSE |

HB23- 1148 | Temp Prohibition On Rule-making After Rule Adopted | Concerning certain limitations on an executive agency’s ability to engage in additional rule-making within a specified period of time following the agency’s adoption of a rule. | SPONSORS: Rep Evans, Sen Pelton B. | SUMMARY: The bill prohibits an executive rule-making agency, on or after September 1, 2023, from amending an existing rule or adopting a new rule concerning the same subject matter as the existing rule for the 3 years following the existing rule’s adoption. The following rules are exempt from the 3-year prohibition period: Rules required by state statute, federal statute, or federal regulation; Imperatively necessary for the preservation of public health, safety, or welfare and for which compliance with the 3-year prohibition would be contrary to the public interest; Temporary or emergency rules, which remain effective for 120 days or less; and Rules that a member of the regulated community petitions to be amended and for which the rule-making agency grants the petition. (This bill if passed would prevent the second half of the 2023 Ozone SIP from going forward, which would mean we’re not addressing NOx emissions, a chemical required to form ozone. Also no GHGs fee schedule rulemaking because we regulated GHGs in the midstream sector last month, and so much more. No Cumulative Impacts rulemaking at the COGCC because we began that in 2021 but did next to nothing. Still, no more rulemaking for you! And the impacts go on and on.) | OPPOSE |

HB23-1166 | Repeal Retail Delivery Fees | Concerning the elimination of retail delivery fees | SPONSORS: Rep Pugliese, Sen Will | SUMMARY:  As authorized by current law, retail delivery fees are imposed on each retail delivery by {…a bunch of state fees as created by previous statute or the SustainableTransportation bill SB21-260) and we’re gonna repeal ‘em effective instantly. 

HB23-1134 | Require Electric Options In Home Warranties | Concerning mandatory provisions in home warranty service contracts, and, in connection therewith, requiring a home warranty service contract to include terms allowing a homeowner to replace any of certain gas-fueled devices with a device that operates on electricity or to receive an amount that is equivalent to the retail cash value of the gas-fueled device. | SPONSORS: Reps Joseph/Kipp, Sen Cutter | SUMMARY: The bill requires that, on and after January 1, 2024, every home warranty service contract that provides coverage for the replacement of any of certain gas-fueled appliances must include terms: Allowing the homeowner to replace the gas-fueled appliance with an electric one; describing minimum efficiency and performance standards for each gas-fueled appliance and for electric replacements; and allowing the homeowner to receive an equivalent cash value of a gas-fueled appliance in lieu of a replacement appliance. | Passed Committee

HB23-1137 | Solar Garden Net Metering Credits Stabilization | Concerning measures to stabilize net metering credits calculated for an electric retail utility’s purchase of electric output from a community solar garden. | SPONSORS: Reps Lukens/Valdez, Sens Hansen/Roberts | SUMMARY: Current law requires an electric retail utility (utility) to offer a net metering credit as the means of purchasing output from a community solar garden (CSG) located within the utility’s service territory and establishes the means of calculating the net metering credit. The bill maintains that calculation if the credits change annually. However, if the CSG indicates to the utility that the CSG’s subscribers’ bill credits are fixed, the bill provides a different calculation for determining the net metering credit. Can’t attach fees to riders on the bill. | Passed Committee

HB23-1154 | Ballot Issue Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report | Concerning requirements for ballot initiatives to include the projected environmental impact report, requiring the title of the initiative to reflect the findings of the report, and include findings in the ballot information booklet entry for such initiatives. | SPONSOR: Rep Valdez | SUMMARY: The Concerning statement says it all.

⭐️ HB23-1161 | Environmental Standards For Appliances | Concerning environmental standards for certain products. | SPONSORS: Reps Kipp/Willford, Sen Cutter | SUMMARY: Sections 1 through 7 of the bill expand the appliances and fixtures that are subject to the standards and update the standards. (…lots more commercial and residential appliances than the last bill.) Includes important appliances like electric water heaters, air purifiers, gas fireplaces. Requires CDPHE to keep appliance standards up to date every 5 years. If you get caught selling disapproved appliances your fine goes to the Energy Office. Eliminates mercury in lighting (particularly fluorescent tubes). Authorizes inspections. | SUPPORT |

⭐️ SB23-092 | Agricultural Producers Use Of Agrivoltaics | Concerning opportunities for voluntary emission reductions in agriculture. | SPONSORS: Sens Simpson/Hansen, Reps McCormick/Soper (Wonderfully Bi-partisan in both houses) |  SUMMARY: In support of the use of agrivoltaics, the bill authorizes the agricultural drought and climate resilience office (office) to award grants for new or ongoing demonstration or research projects that demonstrate or study the use of agrivoltaics. Authorizes the Colorado water conservation board (board) to finance a project to study the feasibility of using aquavoltaics, which are solar energy generation facilities placed over, or floating on, irrigation canals or reservoirs. Amends the statutory definition of “solar energy facility”, used in determining the valuation of public utilities for property tax purposes, to include agrivoltaics and aquavoltaics.Requires the commissioner of agriculture and energy office, the air quality control commission, and an institution of higher education to examine GHGs reduction and carbon sequestration opportunities in Ag. This bill is not a mandate. | SUPPORT |

Week 3 Bills

HB23-1096 | Wildfire Resilient Homes | Concerning the promotion of wildfire resilient houses. | SPONSORS: Rep. Snyder | SUMMARY: The bill expands the wildfire mitigation grant program to allow grant recipients to expend grant money on programs for houses built/rebuilt in areas of high risk of wildfires. The forest service is required to promote wildfire resistant housing strategies and publish their ongoing efforts.

HB23-1101 | Ozone Season Transit Grant Program Flexibility | Concerning support for transit, and, in connection therewith, increasing the flexibility of the ozone season transit grant program and increasing opportunities for transit agency participation in regional transportation planning. | SPONSORS: Reps. Vigil/Bacon, Sen Winter. | SUMMARY: Section 1 of the bill increases the flexibility of the ozone season transit grant program by: Allowing an eligible transit agency to designate a different period of the calendar year for its “ozone season”; retain any grant money that it does not spend in the year for use in a subsequent year; an eligible transit agency may use grant money to expand free services or free routes or increase the frequency of service on routes for which free service is already offered; and Allowing the regional transportation district to use grant money to cover the full costs, rather than up to 80% of the costs. Fund $3M for a transit assoc and $11M for a trans district | Passed House E&E

SB23-079 | Nuclear Energy As A Clean Energy Resource | Concerning the inclusion of nuclear energy as a source of clean energy. | SPONSORS: Sen Liston also Baisley/Gardner/Kirkmeyer/Lundeen/Pelton B./Pelton R./Rich/Simpson/Van Winkle/Will | SUMMARY: “Clean energy” means energy derived from biomass, geothermal energy; solar energy; small hydroelectricity; NUCLEAR ENERGY; and wind energy, as well as any hydrogen derived from any of the foregoing ENERGY SOURCES LISTED IN THIS SUBSECTION. “Clean energy resource” means any electricity-generating technology that generates or stores electricity without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. (I’m amused that virtually every Republican Senator has signed on as a cosponsor right out of the gate!) | OPPOSE

Week 2 Bills

⭐️ HB23-1069 | Study Biochar In Plugging Of Oil And Gas Wells | Concerning the creation of the biochar in oil and gas well plugging working advisory group to make recommendations for the development of a pilot program to study the use of biochar in the plugging of oil and gas wells. SPONSORS: Rep McCormick, Sen Cutter | SUMMARY: The bill creates the biochar in oil and gas well plugging working advisory group (work group) in the COGCCoil and gas conservation commission (commission). The work group must submit a draft report to the commission detailing its recommendations for the pilot program. After coordinating with the commission to develop a final report, the work group must present the report to the transportation and Senate T&E/House E&E by 1/1/24. | SUPPORT with amendments accepted by the sponsor |

⭐️ HB23-1074 | Study Workforce Transitions To Other Industries | Concerning a study regarding workforce transitions to other industries. | SPONSORS: Reps Dickson/Amabile | SUMMARY: The bill requires a study of workforce transitions in Colorado’s economy. The workforce transitions study (study) must: Evaluate the skill transferability of workers in the oil and gas industry and in occupations in Colorado that are facing the most disruption due to automation; Explore training availability, skills needed, and transition strategies; and Provide recommendations for programs and policies to prepare the workforce for these transitions to Senate BLT/House BAL by 1/124. | SUPPORT with amendments accepted by the sponsor | Passed Committee

HB23-1075 | Wildfire Evacuation And Clearance Time Modeling | Concerning evacuation and clearance time modeling in wildfire risk areas of the state. SPONSORS: Rep Snyder SUMMARY: The bill directs the office of emergency management (office) to provide resources and technical assistance to conduct evacuation and clearance time modeling and to publish the results to an interactive website. On and after July 1, 2026, each local and interjurisdictional emergency management agency that has jurisdiction in a wildfire risk area must perform evacuation and clearance time modeling and include the information in the emergency management plan for its area. On 1/1/24 requires that proposed developments of a certain size, a developer must perform evacuation and clearance time modeling for the proposed development and submit the information to the local government that will consider the application for a development permit for approval. A local government cannot approve an application for a development permit submitted on or after that date unless the application includes the evacuation and clearance time modeling and the local government determines that it is adequate for the proposed development.

HB23-1080 | Reliable Alternative Energy Sources | Concerning alternative energy sources, and, in connection therewith, requiring a feasibility study for the use of small modular nuclear reactors as a source of carbon-free energy and specifying the maximum nameplate capacity of a generation unit for pumped hydroelectricity that qualifies as recycled energy under the renewable energy standard. | SPONSORS: Rep Winter, Sen Pelton | SUMMARY: Concerning alternative energy sources, and, in connection therewith, requiring a feasibility study for the use of small modular nuclear reactors as a source of carbon-free energy and specifying the maximum nameplate capacity of a generation unit for pumped hydroelectricity that qualifies as recycled energy under the renewable energy standard. Requires a study on the feasibility of using small modular nuclear reactors as a carbon-free energy source in the state (feasibility study) by 7/1/25. Also for pumped hydro only, increases nameplate capacity to 400MW from 15MW. | OPPOSE |

HB23-1085 | Rural County and Municipality Energy Efficient Building Codes | Concerning modification of the requirements for local governments in rural areas to adopt energy efficient building codes, and, in connection therewith, amending the definition of a rural county, defining a rural municipality, and extending the energy efficient building code compliance periods for both. SPONSORS: Rep Martinez, Sen Simpson | SUMMARY: A rural county, which is defined as a county with a population of less than 30,000 people, is permitted to adopt a less current model code if it has applied for and not been awarded a grant that significantly assists with energy code adoption and enforcement training, and extends the compliance periods:

  • An energy code that achieves equivalent or better energy performance than the 2021 international energy conservation code and the model electric ready and solar ready code language developed by the energy board is not required prior to July 1, 2030, instead of being required concurrently with any county code building code update occurring on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2026;
  • An energy code that achieves equivalent or better energy and carbon emissions performance than the model low energy and carbon code developed by the energy board is not required prior to July 1, 2032, instead of being required concurrently with any county code building code update occurring on or after July 1, 2026; and
  • An energy code that achieves equivalent or better energy performance than one of the 3 most recent editions of the international energy conservation code is not required prior to July 1, 2025, instead of being required concurrently with any county code building code adoption or update occurring before July 1, 2023.

Section 2 defines a rural municipality as a municipality with a population of less than 10,000 people and extends the compliance periods for adoption and enforcement of the model energy codes in an identical manner to that outlined above for rural counties. The bill adds language allowing a rural municipality to adopt a less current model code if it has applied for and not been awarded a grant that significantly assists with energy code adoption and enforcement training.

HB23-1092 | Limitating Use of State Money | Concerning limitations on the use of state money, and, in connection therewith, requiring the public employees’ retirement association to make investments solely on financial factors, prohibiting certain government contracts with entities that engage in economic boycotts, and requiring the state treasurer to invest money eligible for investment solely on financial factors. SPONSOR: Bockenfeld | SUMMARY: The bill prohibits state money from being used to further certain social, political, or ideological interests beyond what controlling state and federal law require. Requires PERA to make investments solely on financial factors and prohibiting PERA from investing in an entity with a stated purpose to further certain social, political, or ideological interests beyond what federal and state law require (nonfinancial commitment). Requires a government contract to include a verification that a company entering into a government contract does not, and will not during the term of the contract, engage in an economic boycott of another company to further certain social, political, or ideological interests. Prohibits a person from penalizing a financial institution for complying with the non-economic boycott verification requirement. Requires the state treasurer to make investments solely on financial factors, prohibits the state treasurer from investing in entities with a stated nonfinancial commitment, and gives the attorney general authority to enforce these investment requirements. | OPPOSE | PI’D

Week 1 bills

HB23-1005New Energy Improvement Program Changes | Concerning changes to the new energy improvement program, and, in connection therewith, adding resiliency improvements and water efficiency improvements to the program, modifying the new energy improvement district’s notice requirements, and removing the district’s hearing requirement. | SPONSORS: Rep Wilford/Titone, Sen Jaquez Lewis |  SUMMARY: Amends the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program (C-PACE) to also apply to the district to finance resiliency improvements and water efficiency improvements. Additionally, when the district approves a C-PACE application, an owner consents to the district levying a special assessment on an owner’s eligible real property. | Passed the House

HB23-1010Task Force On High-altitude Water Storage | Concerning a task force to study the feasibility of high-altitude water storage in Colorado. | SPONSORS: Rep McLachlan, Sens Bridges/Simpson (Bipartisan) | SUMMARY: The bill creates a task force to study the feasibility of implementing water storage in the form of snow in high-altitude areas of the state (task force). The task force must submit a report to the water resources and agriculture review committee on or before June 1, 2024, which report will include the feasibility of implementing high-altitude water storage in Colorado; issues considered by the task force; and any legislative proposals. | Postponed Indefinitely (PI’d)

HB23-1018Timber Industry Incentives | Concerning incentives to promote the timber industry in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, creating an internship program in the Colorado state forest service and creating a state income tax credit for the purchase of qualifying items used in timber production and forest health. | SPONSORS: Rep Lynch, Sen Simpson | SUMMARY: The bill creates the timber, forest health, and wildfire mitigation industries workforce development program (program) in the state forest service. The program provides partial reimbursement to timber businesses and forest health or wildfire mitigation entities for the costs of hiring interns. Beginning on or after January 1, 2023-2028, a timber business may claim a credit against state income tax for 20% of the cost of certain equipment, vehicles, and equipment infrastructure. The total aggregate credit in any one income tax year is limited to $10,000.

HB23-1039Electric Resource Adequacy Reporting – Concerning a requirement that electric load-serving entities periodically report about the adequacy of their electric resources. | SPONSORS: Rep Bird, Sens Rodriguez/Winter | SUMMARY: Annually beginning April 1, 2024, an entity providing retail or wholesale electricity services in the state must file an annual report detailing the adequacy of its electric resources to the PUC. PUC must aggregate and deliver a report to the CEO (Colorado Energy Office) by July 1 each year, who will create a statewide resource report. Won’t apply to those active in an RTO (Regional Transmission Org) or ISO (Independent System Operator) or voluntary regional resources adequacy reporting program. | SUPPORT | Passed House E&E

SB23-005Forestry And Wildfire Mitigation Workforce – Concerning measures to expand the forestry workforce, develop educational materials for high school students about career opportunities in forestry and wildfire mitigation; creating a workforce development program to help fund internships; authorizing the expansion and creation of forestry programs in the community college system and at Colorado mountain college; and recruit wildland fire prevention and mitigation educators. SPONSORS: Sens Jaquez Lewis/Cutter | SUMMARY: Directs the Colorado state forest service to develop educational materials relating to career opportunities in forestry/wildfire mitigation for high school guidance counselors. Creates the timber, forest health, and wildfire mitigation industries workforce development program in the SFS. Authorizes the expansion of existing forestry programs, including wildfire mitigation, and the creation of a new forestry program within the community college system. Directs the state board for community colleges to increase the number of teachers. | Passed Senate Ag

SB23-010Water Resources And Agriculture Review Committee | Concerning the water resources and agriculture review committee. | SPONSORS: Sens Bridges/Simpson, Rep McLachlan (bipartisan) | SUMMARY:  The bill makes the water resources and agriculture review committee permanent, and removes limitations on the number of meetings and the number of field trips the committee may hold, plus requires the committee to meet at least 4 times during each calendar year. | Passed Senate Ag

SB23-016Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures | Concerning measures to promote reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado. | SPONSORS: Sen Hansen, Reps McCormick/Sirota | SUMMARY: Section 1 of the bill requires that, beginning in 2024, each $100M+ insurance company must complete the NAIC’s “Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey”. Section 2 requires the public employees’ retirement association (PERA) board, on or before June 1, 2024, to ensure voting decisions are supportive of the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals, and include in annual report a description of climate-related investment risks, impacts, and strategies. Section 4 adds wastewater thermal energy equipment to the definition of “pollution control equipment” and to the definition of “clean heat resource” for inclusion in its clean heat plan filed with the PUC. Section 6 updates the statewide GHG emission reduction goals to add a 65% reduction goal for 2035, an 80% reduction goal for 2040, a 90% reduction goal for 2045 and converts the current 90% by 2050 goal to 100%. Section 7 gives the oil and gas conservation commission (COGCC) authority over class VI injection wells used for sequestration of GHG. Section 8 establishes a state income tax credit in an amount equal to 30% of the purchase price for new, electric-powered yard/lawn equipment for purchases made in income tax years 2024 through 2026. Section 9 determines the calculation if a CSG’s (Community Solar Garden) net meter bill credits change annually. Sections 10 through 12 incorporate projects to renovate or recondition existing utility transmission lines into the “Colorado Electric Transmission Authority Act”, allowing the CETA to finance and renovate, rebuild, or recondition existing transmission lines and requires expedited land use decisions. | SUPPORT (with amendments) | Passed Senate T&E

SB23-026Financial Institution Discrimination Environmental Criteria | Concerning prohibiting discrimination by financial institutions based on environmental criteria. | SPONSOR: Sen R Pelton | SUMMARY: The bill prohibits financial institutions that do business in the state from discriminating against any person based on environmental criteria. A financial institution’s violation of this prohibition is an unfair or deceptive trade practice. (Prevents banks from refusing to fund heavy polluting activities). | OPPOSE | Postponed Indefinitely (PI’d = failed in Committee)

SB23-032Wildfire Detection Technology Pilot Program | Concerning the establishment of a wildfire detection technology system pilot program, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. | SPONSORS: Sens Simpson/Ginal, Rep Lynch (bipartisan) | SUMMARY: The bill requires the center of excellence for advanced technology aerial firefighting (center of excellence) in  the department of public safety to establish one or more remote camera technology pilot programs., which may use artificial intelligence and must use remote pan-tilt-zoom cameras and associated tools to provide a live feed of information that can detect, locate, and confirm ignition in the wildland-urban interface. The center of excellence must report to the wildfire matters review committee on the system’s effectiveness and potential for more widespread use in the state.

Section 2 defines a rural municipality as a municipality with a population of less than 10,000 people and extends the compliance periods for adoption and enforcement of the model energy codes in an identical manner to that outlined above for rural counties. The bill adds language allowing a rural municipality to adopt a less current model code if it has applied for and not been awarded a grant that significantly assists with energy code adoption and enforcement training. | Passed Senate Ag

By Jan Rose, Legislative Analyst and Spokesperson

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