Important Pending State Legislation and Policy

The Mountain Sky Conference includes four states  - Colorado, Montana, UtahWyoming - and one church in Idaho.  An excellent source of climate change proposed, passed, pending or failed state legislation in each of these states is the National Conference of State Legislatures Tracking Database:

Click here for the National Conference of State Legislatures Tracking Database

State specific information and sites are listed below with the most recent updates at the top of this page.

This material is provided for information only. It does not represent the position of The Mountain Sky Conference on any specific bill.

COLORADO  

2022 CO Legislative Priorities

During the 2022 Legislative Session, we will lobby our Colorado legislature to pass bills that will have the greatest impact in moving Colorado in a just and equitable fashion to meet commitments they made in January 2021. GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap | Colorado Energy Office.  The GHG Roadmap represents the most action-oriented, ambitious and substantive planning process Colorado has ever undertaken on climate leadership, pollution reduction and clean energy transition. It lays out an achievable pathway to meet the state’s science-based climate targets of 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 from 2005 levels that were part of House Bill 19-1261 Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution. An executive summary of the GHG Roadmap (also included in the full report) is available in English and Spanish

April 19, 2020 CO Legislative Update Summary

April 2022 CO Legislation to WATCH

SB22-138 - “Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Colorado

  • Source: 350 CO 2022 Legislative Priorities
  • Sponsors: Sen. Chris Hansen (D) & Rep. Alex Valdez (D) 
  • This bill has 10 specific sections concerning measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado and lay groundwork for future emissions reducing activities.
    • Requires climate-risk assessment reporting of investment portfolios of insurance and PERA. These reports will be public.
    • Adds intermediary GHG reduction targets for 2028 (40%) and 2040 (75%), to make sure we are on track with the existing GHG reduction roadmap
    • Will phase out small off-road gas engines (lawnmowers and leaf blowers) in ozone nonattainment areas and provide incentives to do so. 
    • Gives COGCC authority over dry or abandoned wells that will be used for GHG sequestration. If operators  are going to start doing that, someone needs to oversee it. 
    • Contains a lot of support for agriculture to reduce emissions, and also for agrivoltaics (having solar production facilities on land that is also used for agriculture). Will make it economically more attractive for agriculture to start to use agrivoltaics.
    • 3/20: Bill passed, but on a party line vote and without the mandate to end the purchase of 2-stroke gas engines by 2030. Ending the future purchase—8 years away—got struck from the bill (Lawn mowers and Leaf blowers).  -update from Jan Rose
  • Talking Points:   Fact Sheet for SB22-138 Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 
  • To Testify:  Register Here to speak 
    • It’s the last of 5 bills they are hearing, so could take a while to be heard. Coordinate directly with Giselle giselle@350colorado.org to get more precise time
    • Since this is the Finance committee, testimony should focus on financial aspects, specifically the Insurance and PERA climate risk assessment pieces  
    • SB138 has the most corporate lobbyists registered for/against of any bill. https://coloradosun.com/2022/03/28/colorado-2022-lobbying-spending/
  • Status: Passed Senate T&E amended 3-2, onto Finance Wed 3/30/22 1:30 pm
  • 4/22/2022: Introduced in House- Assigned to Energy & Environment— Source, Colorado General Assembly

SB22-051   “Policies to Reduce Emissions from Built Environment

  • Source: League of Women Voters of Colorado (lwvcolorado.org) & 350 CO
  • Sponsors: Sen. Chris Hansen (D) & Emily Sirota (D)
  • Provides tax incentives to encourage low-emission building products in the private sector and to advance the adoption of heat pump technology.
    • The heat pumps must have the capacity to achieve 80% of the heating or cooling needs of buildings
    • Provides sales and income tax breaks for purchases of air-source, ground-source heat pumps, and heat-pump water heaters used in commercial and residential buildings.
    • Also provides tax breaks for residential energy storage systems
    • The bill exempts air-source and ground-source heat pump systems from the definition of "fixtures" for property tax purposes. 
  • Talking Points:
    • CO’s GHG Roadmap calls for a large-scale shift to the use of electric heat pumps powered by zero-carbon electricity for space and water heating. 
    • Adoption of heat pumps will likely be the most important single piece of technology in Colorado’s decarbonization of buildings.
    • See Colorado's carrots and sticks for buildings - Big Pivots for an in excellent in-depth explanation of this bill and its impact.
  • CO Legislature staff’s Greenhouse Gas Analysis: SB051_00.pdf
  • Status: Passed Senate Fiscal Policy and Taxes and amended 3-2, onto Appropriations
  • 4/21/2022: House Committee on Energy & Environment Refer Amended to Finance-Source Colorado General Assembly

April 2022 CO Legislative Recommendations

From CO League of Women VOTERS 

Legislative Action; Lobbyist; Lobbying; Volunteer; LAC; Letter - League of Women Voters of Colorado (lwvcolorado.org)

Bill # Title Bill Subject / Fact Sheet from 350CO Position Status
HB22-1013 Microgrids For Community Resilience Grant Program - Energy Support House Committee on Energy & Environment Refer Amended to Appropriations (02/03/2022)
HB22-1026 Alternative Transportation Options Tax Credit - Fiscal Policy & Taxes - Transportation & Motor Vehicles Monitor House Committee on Finance Refer Amended to Appropriations (02/03/2022)
HB22-1151 Turf Replacement Program - Water Support House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Refer Amended to Appropriations (02/28/2022)
HB22-1159 Waste Diversion And Circular Economy Development Center - Public Health / Fact Sheet for HB22-1159 Support Introduced in Senate – Assigned to Finance (03/14/2022
HB22-1244 Public Protections From Toxic Air Contaminants - Natural Resources & Environment Support Introduced In House - Assigned to Energy & Environment (02/16/2022) Goes to House Energy & Environment Committee 4/7/2022 1:30-pm-6pm
HB22-1249 Electric Grid Resilience And Reliability Roadmap - Energy Support House Committee on Energy & Environment Refer Amended to Appropriations (03/17/2022)
SB22-029 Investment Water Speculation - Water Support Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Agriculture & Natural Resources (01/12/2022)
SB22-051 Policies To Reduce Emissions From Built Environment - Fiscal Policy & Taxes - State Government Support Senate Committee on Finance Refer Amended to Appropriations (03/02/2022)
SB22-138 Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions In Colorado - Health Care & Health Insurance - Natural Resources & Environment Monitor Senate Committee on Transportation & Energy Refer Amended to Finance (03/15/2022)
       

From 350 Colorado

Website:  350 Colorado Take Action at the Capitol - 350 Colorado

The only priority bill that is not on the LWV list is:
HB22-1218 - “Resource Efficiency Buildings Electric Vehicles” 

 
Bills to watch:

  • BILL #: Air Quality Bill: Monitoring/Modeling 
  • BILL #: Oil and Gas Reporting (Oversight of Oil and Gas Operations)
  • BILL #:  Building Codes Updates 
  • BILL #: Extended Producer Responsibility
  • HB22-1013 - “Microgrids For Community Resilience Grant Program”  (Also on LWV list) 
  • BILL #:  Bill to phase out PFAS in consumer products
  • SB22-158: Species Conservation Trust Fund Projects
  • SB22-180: Programs To Reduce Ozone Through Increased Transit
  • HB22-1151: Turf Replacement Program (Also on LWV list) 

 
Bills to oppose:

  • SB22-073:  Alternative Energy Sources
  • HB22-1166  Incentives Promote Colorado Timber Industry.  

 

Other important bills to watch:

Energy

  • HB22-1140 | Green Hydrogen To Meet Pollution Reduction Goals
  • SB22-118 | Encourage Geothermal Energy Use |
  • HB22-1018 | Electric And Gas Utility Customer Protections |
  • HB22-1020 | Customer Right To Use Energy |

GHGs Pollution

Climate Impacts

  • SB22-090 | Severe Weather Notifications To Utility Customers
  • HB22-1007 | Assistance Landowner Wildfire Mitigation
  • HB22-1011 | Wildfire Mitigation Incentives For Local
  • HB22-1012 | Wildfire Mitigation And Recovery
  • SB22-007 | Increase Wildfire Risk Mitigation Outreach Efforts
  • SB22-029 | Investment Water Speculation (Also on LWV list) 

 

2021 Colorado State Legislation Archive

UTAH

The 2022 Utah Legislative Session ended March 4, 2022. While COVID-19 rules, education, and tax cuts dominated most of the session, we came away with several important wins for clean energy.   Here are the overall impressions of the session:

The Good

The Legislature is talking a lot more about climate change and reducing emissions: Climate change and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are popping up more often from members of both parties. HCR 1-Concurrent Resolution to Work Together to Address the Climate, Public Lands, and Carbon Sequestration by Rep. Keven Stratton, for example, led to some surprisingly good discussion about the need to address climate change and to drawdown global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a good sign that we are moving further away from debating climate science and towards debating climate solutions. Credit where it’s due: Senator Kirk Cullimore worked with a number of stakeholders, including Utah Clean Energy, to pass some important bills to reduce emissions in buildings and transportation, including SB 188-Energy Efficiency Amendments (see more below). We hope to see this continue into the next year.  

The Bad

No major pro-clean energy or climate bills: One the other hand, we did not make real progress in enacting major bills to reduce emissions or prepare for the impacts of climate change, as a number of our neighboring states have. The Legislature voted not to consider HJR3-Joint Resolution Supporting a Federal Carbon Fee and Dividend Program in the House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee, a modest effort to endorse a national revenue-neutral carbon pricing program. And a number of bills to provide incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles either failed to pass or didn’t get a hearing. Time is long past when we can avoid confronting the climate challenge directly.  

The Frustrating

Building Codes: For the second year in a row, the Legislature rather hastily added concerning amendments to building codes legislation (HB 39-State Construction Code Amendments) that would undercut rules to ensure appropriate sizing of heating and cooling equipment. When heating and cooling systems aren’t sized appropriately, they waste energy, cost families more on their energy bills and pollute needlessly. Energy and air quality must be central considerations in how we build our homes and buildings. With the first major residential building code update since 2016 on the horizon next year, we need more than just a few minutes of debate on these important bills. 

Notable Energy, Transportation, and Climate Legislation

HB 186: A Compromise on Electric Vehicle Fees 
We began the session by working with Representative Ray Ward (R-Bountiful) on HB 186-Vehicle Registration Amendments (2nd Substitute), a compromise on the issue of higher registration fees for electric vehicles (EVs). For several years, legislation has been proposed to increase registration fees for EV drivers. A bill we defeated last year would have made Utah’s fees some of the highest in the nation. The result of this compromise will ensure that EV drivers who participate in the state’s Road Usage Charge Program will pay a lower per-mile rate for the next nine years. For EV drivers that opt not to participate in the Road Usage Charge Program, the current $120 registration fee will increase to $180 in 2026, and then $240 in 2032, plus an annual inflation adjustment. This is far from ideal, but we believe that this compromise should put the argument that EV drivers are not paying for their “fair share” of road maintenance to bed. They are. Now let’s move on to deploying electric vehicle charging infrastructure in our communities and updating our building codes to ensure that our homes and buildings are EV ready! 

Legislation Passes to Help Protect Access to Electric Vehicle Charging at HOAs and COAs 
SB 152-Community Association Regulation Amendments (3rd Substitute) by Senator Wayne Harper (R-Taylorsville) passed, which prohibits homeowner associations from creating rules that would stop residents from installing electric vehicle charging equipment in their own parking spaces.  

New Funding for Energy Efficiency and Electric Vehicles
SB 188-Energy Efficiency Amendments (2nd Substitute) by Senator Kirk Cullimore will do two helpful things: first, it will facilitate the use of federal infrastructure funds to purchase new zero-emissions fleet vehicles and fund residential energy efficiency measures.  Second, the bill modifies the low-income energy assistance programs to allow for funds to be spent on replacing aging and inefficient appliances and heating equipment. We look forward to working to help implement this legislation, especially the residential energy efficiency pieces.  

Committee to Study Electricity Grid Resilience
HB 418-Grid Resilience Committee (1st Substitute) by Representative Carl Albrecht creates a 12-member committee to examine challenges to the operation of our electricity grid, including the shift away from fossil energy resources, cybersecurity, and extreme weather. The committee will then offer recommendations to the Utah Legislature. This is a laudable and important issue, though we are a bit concerned that the committee is dominated by electric utilities and fossil fuel generators and does not have representation from someone with expertise in renewable energy or energy storage. We will be monitoring the operations of the committee. 

Appropriations and Funding for Rural Electric Vehicle Charging, Zero-Emissions Rail, and Water Conservation Measures 
The Legislature enacted its largest budget ever, spending $25 billion. While it will take a while to go through the entire budget and what the implications are for clean energy, air quality, and climate, there are some notable items that received funding: $3 million for a matching grant program for rural electric vehicle charging in the areas served by rural electric cooperatives, $5 million in funds for residential water conservation incentives, and then significant new funding for rail, bus, and bus and pedestrian paths. The new federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will likely provide some additional funds for various transportation projects.     

- information about the 2022 Utah Legislative Session provided by Josh Craft, Utah Clean Energy

Legislation Tracking Information may be found here:

https://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/energy-legislation-tracking-database.aspx

WYOMING

https://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/energy-legislation-tracking-database.aspx

MONTANA

https://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/energy-legislation-tracking-database.aspx

IDAHO

https://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/energy-legislation-tracking-database.aspx

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