- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is considering a draft executive order which would push the state to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by 25% by 2025 and 35% by 2030 relative to 2012 levels, according to a draft copy of the order obtained by Denver Business Journal.
- Denver Business Journal reports the order considers agency work groups to continue advances in emissions reductions, and wants to make carbon dioxide reductions a consideration in policy decisions.
- The proposed emissions limits are similar, but not as stringent, as those in the Clean Power Plan.Hickenlooper has supported the federal climate plan, while Colorado's attorney general signed on to challenge the rule.
Colorado's governor has been circulating a draft executive order that would make climate change a policy priority, but representatives for Hickenlooper's office told Denver Business Journal that so far no decisions have been made.
The draft order “was prepared for discussion with stakeholders on all sides of the issue,” Hickenlooper’s spokeswoman Kathy Green told the news outlet.
The proposed emissions limits are similar to those in the Clean Power Plan, currently on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R) signed on with dozens of states to challenge the rule, while Hickenlooper said the lawsuit would create uncertainty for the state.
Some experts say Colorado is well-positioned to meet the carbon limits, pointing to billions of dollars invested in renewable energy in recent years. Hickenlooper has said he anticipates little or no extra cost to the state's residents from compliance, but Colorado law allows the attorney general to file lawsuits directly on behalf of citizens without approval from the governor.
The Clean Power Plan, which requires national carbon dioxide reductions of 32% by 2030 from the power sector, is currently before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and observers expect the Supreme Court to eventually decide the matter.
According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Colorado's state targets under the Clean Power Plan, using a rate-based compliance method, is a 40% reduction, relative to 2012 levels.
Correction: A previous version of this article said Gov. Hickenlooper wanted to cut 35% of the state's carbon emissions by 2030. That's incorrect as he wanted to cut 35% of carbon emissions from the power sector.