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Goal! Adding accountability to state climate plan passes first test        

Blog, Environment & Public Lands, Uncategorized Comments Off 116

…and credit for that headline goes to the House Democrats’ deputy communications director, Katy Fleury; we couldn’t think of a more apt one.

The touted legislation, introduced only last week by the chamber’s ruling party, comes at an opportune time even if is unlikely to make it through the General Assembly. It seeks to establish measurable goals for the state’s climate-action plan just when Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed onto a letter with 11 other Democratic U.S. governors pleading with the Trump administration not to abandon the Paris Accord on climate change backed by the Obama administration.

House Bill 1366, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Jeni Arndt of Fort Collins and Rep. Faith Winter of Westminster, passed the Health, Insurance & Environment Committee on a party-line vote Thursday. The bill, according to a press statement from Fleury:

…requires the state’s climate action plan to include goals to reduce Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions or increase our ability to respond to the effects of climate change. This crucial step will help Colorado do its fair share to combat climate change and push the state to be a leader in environmental protection.

The press release quotes the sponsors. Here’s Arndt:

“Colorado already has a Climate Action Plan, but right now we have no guiding goals. … We need to put goals in place and make them aggressive so that we can protect our state’s economy, climate and health. Fort Collins has the most aggressive action plan in the nation and has shown that clean energy and attending to climate change attracts business, spurs innovation and stimulates economic activity. It’s time for the state to act as well.”

And Winter:

“Climate change affects every corner of our state — from agriculture, growing seasons and forest fires, to fewer ski days and the health of our communities. … We should be proactively taking action. Adding goals creates accountability so that we can hold ourselves to a higher standard and make sure our plan is working.”

HB 1366 now goes to the House floor for debate. It’s an easy guess that’s as far it will get in the closing days of the 2017 legislature.

It likely would have hit a wall even earlier in the session once it got to the Senate, where the climate-change-skeptical GOP is in charge.

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