Colorado Air Quality Commission Moves Forward on Vehicle Efficiency and Electric Vehicle Standards

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission yesterday made two important decisions. First, they formally kicked off the process for considering fuel economy standards in Colorado that will, if adopted, protect the state from the Environmental Protection Agency’s planned federal rollbacks. They are scheduled to have a formal hearing in November and make a final decision in December. Similarly, in December they will formally kick off a similar process for adopting the “zero emission vehicle” standards, with a final decision expected in March. These ZEV standards should expand electric vehicle options for Colorado consumers, help reduce EV adoption barriers, and expand EV use across the state.

As the Denver Post reported:

Colorado air quality officials on Thursday launched a push ordered by Gov. John Hickenlooper to ensure ever-more-efficient gas-powered vehicles — calculated to cut heat-trapping greenhouse pollution by 2 million tons a year of carbon dioxide. Then the state air commissioners went a step further and committed to consider requirements on the auto industry aimed at accelerating a shift toward zero-emission electric vehicles.

CC4CA has worked hard to this point. Eight CC4CA representatives from a wide range of communities across Colorado testified at the hearing.

Colorado Communities for Climate Action President Anita Seitz (who is also a Westminster city councilor), was among those testifying. She told the Denver Post afterward: “Everyone wins if they adopt ZEV provisions. We all get to breathe cleaner air, it’s much easier for anyone who wants an electric vehicle to get one, and Colorado families and businesses save money. We want Coloradans on the Front Range and across the rural parts of our state to have good electric vehicle options.”

And the Denver Business Journal quoted the testimony of CC4CA President Elect Jill Hunsaker Ryan (who is also an Eagle County Commissioner):

“Eagle County Commissioner Jill Hunsaker Ryan noted that a 2016 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report showed mountain snow pack is down between 20 percent and 60 percent throughout various parts of the state since the 1950s — a trend that, if it continues, will cause ski seasons to be shortened between two weeks and three months by 2050. “Imagine our state losing this sport,” Hunsaker Ryan told commissioners. “It’s more than a brand; it’s an identity. But that’s where we’re headed.” Ryan noted that a 2016 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report showed mountain snow pack is down between 20 percent and 60 percent throughout various parts of the state since the 1950s — a trend that, if it continues, will cause ski seasons to be shortened between two weeks and three months by 2050. “Imagine our state losing this sport,” Hunsaker Ryan told commissioners. “It’s more than a brand; it’s an identity. But that’s where we’re headed.”