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Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions In Colorado

Concerning measures to promote reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2022 Regular Session
Health Care & Health Insurance
Natural Resources & Environment
Bill Summary

Section 1 of the bill requires that, beginning in 2023, each insurance company issued a certificate of authority to transact insurance business to prepare and file an annual report with the insurance commissioner providing a climate-risk assessment for the insurance company's investment portfolio from the previous 12 months. The commissioner of insurance is required to post the reports on the division of insurance's website. Section 1 defines "climate-risk assessment" as a determination of the economic and business risks that climate change poses to an investment that reports more than $100 million on its annual schedule T filing with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) participate in and complete the NAIC's "Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey" or successor survey or reporting mechanism. Section 2 requires the board of trustees of the public employees' retirement association (PERA board ) to prepare a similar include as part of its annual investment stewardship report, and post it which report is posted on the PERA board's website , a description of climate-related investment risks, impacts, and strategies . Section 3 adds wastewater thermal energy equipment to the definition of "pollution control equipment", which equipment may be certified by the division of administration (division) in the department of public health and environment (CDPHE). Similarly, section 13 adds wastewater thermal energy to the definition of "clean heat resource", which resources a gas distribution utility includes in its clean heat plan filed with the public utilities commission. Section 3 4 updates the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals to add a 40% 65% reduction goal for 2028 2035 compared to 2005 GHG pollution levels and a 75% reduction goal for 2040 compared to 2005 GHG pollution levels. Section 4 defines a small off-road engine as a gasoline-powered engine of 50 horsepower or less used to fuel small off-road equipment like lawn mowers and leaf blowers. Section 4 phases out the use of small off-road engines by prohibiting their sale in nonattainment areas of the state on or after January 1, 2030, and by providing financial incentives to promote the replacement of small off-road engines with electric-powered, small off-road equipment before 2030. Section 11 establishes a state income tax credit in an amount equal to 30% of the purchase price for new, electric-powered, small off-road equipment for purchases made in income tax years 2023 through 2029. Section 5 requires the air quality control commission (AQCC), on or before August 1, 2023, to adopt rules to reduce GHG emissions, at a minimum, from sources in the industrial and manufacturing sector that reported GHG emissions greater than 25,000 metric tons from 2020 pursuant to the AQCC rule commonly known as "regulation number 22". Section 6 7 gives the oil and gas conservation commission (COGCC) authority over class VI injection wells used for sequestration of GHG including through the issuance and enforcement of permits if the governor and COGCC have determined that the state has sufficient resources to ensure the safe and effective regulation of the sequestration of GHG gases in accordance with a study that the COGCC conducts . If the governor and COGCC determine there are sufficient resources, the COGCC may seek primacy under the federal "Safe Drinking Water Act" and, once granted, may issue and enforce permits for class VI injection wells. The COGCC shall require, as part of its regulation of class VI injection wells, that operators of the wells provide adequate financial assurance, which financial assurance must be maintained until the COGCC approves the closure of a class VI injection well site. Section 7 8 requires the commissioner of agriculture or the commissioner's designee, in consultation with the Colorado energy office , and the air quality control commission the AQCC, and an institution of higher education with expertise in climate change mitigation, adaptation benefits, and other environmental benefits related to agricultural research , to conduct a study examining carbon reduction and sequestration opportunities in the agricultural sector and in land management in the state, including the potential development of certified carbon offset programs or credit instruments. On or before December 15, 2022 October 1, 2024 , the commissioner of agriculture or the commissioner's designee is required to submit a report summarizing the study, including any legislative recommendations, to the general assembly. The commissioner of agriculture may adopt rules incorporating recommendations and any recommended carbon offsets may be incorporated into the AQCC's rules.

In support of the use of agrivoltaics, which is the colocation integration of solar energy generation facilities on a parcel of land with agricultural activities, section 8 9 authorizes the Colorado agriculture value-added development board (board) to provide financing, including grants or loans, for agricultural research on the use of agrivoltaics. Section 9 directs the state treasurer to transfer $1,800,000 per year through 2027 from the general fund to the agriculture value-added cash fund for implementation of agrivoltaics research. For a research project for which the board awards money to study the use of agrivoltaics, sections 5 and 8 6 and 9 require the director of the division of parks and wildlife to consult on the research project regarding the wildlife impacts of agrivoltaic use. Section 9 10 authorizes the board to seek, accept, and expend gifts, grants, and donations, including donations of in-kind resources such as solar panels, for use in agricultural research projects. Section 9 10 also updates the statutory definition of "agrivoltaics" to list additional agricultural activities on the parcel of land on with which solar panel generation facilities may be colocated integrated , including animal husbandry, cover cropping for soil health, and carbon sequestration. Section 10 11 amends the statutory definition of "solar energy facility" used in determining the valuation of public utilities for property tax purposes to include agrivoltaics. Section 12 establishes a state income tax credit in an amount equal to 30% of the purchase price for new, electric-powered, small off-road equipment, which is defined as a lawn mower, leaf blower, or trimmer, for purchases made in income tax years 2023 through 2029. The tax credit may be claimed by a seller of electric-powered, small off-road equipment that demonstrates that it provided the purchaser a 30% discount from the purchase price of the electric-powered, small off-road equipment. Section 14 appropriates for state fiscal year 2022-23:

  • $81,429 from the oil and gas conservation and environmental response fund to the department of natural resources for use by the COGCC for the underground injection program;
  • $145,789 from the general fund to CDPHE for use by the division for regulation of stationary sources; and
  • $2,098,784 from the general fund to the department of agriculture for conservation services.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details