Newly inaugurated Governor Polis signed Executive Order B 2019 002, Supporting a Transition to Zero Emission Vehicles, on January 17, calling for extensive transportation electrification in Colorado. As one of the first policy actions of Governor Polis’ tenure, this Executive Order complements his goal to pursue 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 to create meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas and local air pollution in the State.
The Executive Order takes a multi-faceted approach to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and transit in Colorado.
First, it directs the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment to propose a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program rulemaking to the Air Quality Control Commission this spring for possible Commission adoption by October. Although the Commission adopted a complementary Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard in a rulemaking last year—and has already signaled its intention to take up a ZEV rulemaking this year—the Executive Order provides additional momentum to keep the rulemaking on track.
Second, the Executive Order calls for the creation of an interagency working group to help coordinate electrification infrastructure and policy, and recommits Colorado to a 7-state initiative promoting electric vehicle infrastructure that was put into place by Governor Hickenlooper. The Order also directs the Colorado Department of Transportation to develop a plan that will align transportation investments and programs with strategies to support electric vehicle deployment and expand mobility options.
Finally, the Order revises the State’s spending plan for money obtained from the Volkswagen emissions settlement. Whereas the money previously could be used to promote natural gas and alternative fuel vehicles, Governor Polis has directed all future spending to focus solely on supporting electrification of the transportation sector.
Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell’s energy and climate team engages on a variety of clean transportation and energy policy and other matters in Colorado. Please contact Tom Bloomfield or Sarah Keane if you have any questions about this Executive Order or other clean transportation developments in Colorado.
Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell publishes Energy + Climate Law Alerts to announce late-breaking developments in legislation, regulation, and policy for our clients and colleagues. Nothing in our Alerts is intended as legal advice, and readers are reminded to contact legal counsel for legal advice on the matters that appear in our Alerts.