2021 Conservation Scorecard

Transportation & Energy

As Colorado’s population booms, we need to be looking forward and ensuring smart growth for our communities. This means building transportation systems and renewable energy sources to help reduce our carbon pollution, especially because transportation emissions account for one-third of global carbon pollution.

Bills Tracked

Senate Bill 011 - Terminate Use of FASTER Fee Revenue For Transit

Passed in 2009, FASTER is a mechanism to collect fees which are used to pay for transportation infrastructure including failing roads and bridges. A small portion of the funds (10%) are also earmarked to pay for transit projects. These funds have funded popular transit projects such as the Bustang service and statewide projects like improvements to bus stops and added bus lanes. This year, Senator Neville and Representative Neville led an effort to end the use of these funds for transit, despite the popularity and importance of the funding to communities across Colorado.

Pro-Environment Vote: NO

Bill Sponsors: Senator Tim Neville, Representative Patrick Neville

Status: Senate Vote: Passed 18-16 | House: Died in Transportation & Energy Committee

Senate Bill 210 - Fix Colorado Roads Act

This bill would have authorized a second round of Trans Bonds, transportation bonds which would have given the state authority to take on new debt for road construction. The bill funded old projects, which might not be the top priority for local communities, and only added new lanes instead of prioritizing congestion reduction. The bill was even amended to remove transit projects and managed lanes (both of which are proven to reduce congestion) from utilizing any funding generated by these bonds.

Pro-Environment Vote: NO

Bill Sponsors: Senator Randy Baumgardner, Representative Brian DelGrosso

Status: Senate Vote: Passed 19-16 | House: Died in State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee

House Bill 1332 - Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicle Income Tax Credits

This bill updated and streamlined an existing tax credit which benefits buyers of alternative fuel vehicles, like Electric Vehicles (EVs). Previously, taxpayers had to navigate a complicated formula and long process with the Colorado Department of Revenue. This bill clarifies tax credit amounts, extends the life of the program, and makes it easier for buyers to get the benefit of the credits up front, making an EV a simpler investment decision in Colorado.

Pro-Environment Vote: YES

Bill Sponsors: Representatives Crisanta Duran & Bob Rankin, Senators Michael Johnston & Ray Scott

Status: House Vote: Passed 64-1 | Senate Vote: Passed 35-0
Signed by the Governor: June 6, 2016

House Bill 1136 - Multiple Crew Members Required for Freight Trains

In recent years, railroad companies have been dramatically reducing crews on freight trains, and often only a single conductor is onboard. This change has been enabled by new technologies which are improving safety in some conditions but cannot control for all situations. With more and more chemicals, oil, gas, and other potentially harmful materials being shipped by rail, this bill would have helped improve train safety. Having both an engineer and a conductor on board each train in Colorado provides backup in case of emergencies, reduces the risk of accidents, and allows for better working conditions for staff on the trains.

Pro-Environment Vote: YES

Bill Sponsors: Representative Daneya Esgar, Senator Leroy Garcia

Status: House Vote: Passed 34-31 | Senate: Died in State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee

Senate Bill 007 - Biomass Renewable Energy Wildfire High Risk Areas

In the early days of renewable energy standards, “multipliers” allowed utilities to count a project as more energy than it actually created in order to comply with the standard and as an incentive to bring projects online quickly. Now, multipliers are no longer needed to drive investment, and have an adverse impact because they lead to less renewable energy. This bill would have created a new multiplier for biomass energy in an effort to incentivize a single project in southwest Colorado. Colorado has moved away from multipliers, and adding a new one would only degrade the standard.

Pro-Environment Vote: NO

Bill Sponsors: Senator Ellen Roberts, Representative Don Coram

Status: Senate Vote: Passed 24-11 | House: Died in Transportation & Energy Committee

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