Did You Know?
In September 2016, we surpassed a very important milestone: global carbon emissions have reached an atmospheric carbon dioxide level of 400 PPM (parts per million). That means climate changes on a global scale, and they will not be pleasant. According to an independent climate research organization, Climate Central, “the carbon dioxide we’ve already committed to the atmosphere has warmed the world about 1.8°F since the start of the industrial revolution” (Kahn 2016). Read the full article here: The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold, Permanently
So What Can We Do About It?
While we are unlikely to reduce carbon emissions in our lifetime from 400 PPM, CLLARO is committed to supporting the Clean Power Plan in Colorado. It’s a small step, but a necessary one if we hope to leave a better world for generations to come.
“As part of the national strategy to deal with climate change, CLLARO supports the Clean Power Plan and will encourage members of the Latino community to support it also. The improvement in the quality of health and life within the Latino community and the overall Colorado community merits such support.”
– Christine Alonzo, Executive Director of CLLARO in the Denver Post
What is the Clean Power Plan?
To date, the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the most significant effort to reduce the United States’ emissions of carbon, a major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and climate change.
The CPP will set standards for existing power plants in order to reduce the amount of carbon pollution. States can customize the goals they must reach to comply with the CPP through the development of a state plan. As the first state in the union to introduce renewable energy standards, including passing the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act (CACJA), and as a leader on other clean air initiatives,
Colorado is well positioned to develop and implement a plan for compliance with the CPP.
In fact, with existing renewables and plans we may already be 75% of the way there!
The effects of climate change disproportionately impact minority communities like ours.
Asthma-causing air pollution impacts Latinos and African Americans at the highest rate. In U.S. metropolitan areas, minorities generally live closer to high traffic areas and power plants.
CLLARO believes that Colorado should have the cleanest air in the nation and the Clean Power Plan is an important step to getting us there.
Read the full report: Colorado’s Clean Power Plan
The Latest on the Clean Power Plan
The following statement comes from the Environmental Protection Agency:
“On February 9, 2016, the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan pending judicial review. The Court’s decision was not on the merits of the rule. EPA firmly believes the Clean Power Plan will be upheld when the merits are considered because the rule rests on strong scientific and legal foundations. For the states that choose to continue to work to cut carbon pollution from power plants and seek the agency’s guidance and assistance, EPA will continue to provide tools and support. We will make any additional information available as necessary.”
The Clean Power Plan in Colorado
Governor John Hickenlooper released the Colorado Climate Plan, on September 16, 2015. The Colorado Climate Plan does not include a CPP compliance plan but does include standards for carbon emissions from existing power plants, as well as recommendations to improve Colorado’s Water Plan, public health, transportation and agriculture. Gov. Hickenlooper has made explicit his support of the CPP and a state compliance plan.
“Under the EPA’s proposal, Colorado must either reduce the rate of carbon dioxide emissions from covered existing fossil fuel-fired EGUs to 1,174 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour of electricity by 2030, or reduce the mass of carbon dioxide emissions to 29,900,397 short tons per year by 2030. Based on EPA’s adjusted 2012 baselines, the CDPHE calculates that these targets represent a 38% reduction in the rate of carbon dioxide emissions or a 31% reduction in the mass of emissions.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) continues to develop a state plan in order to meet the standards set by the CPP, and has been holding public meetings throughout Colorado.
By moving forward with planning and public meetings, CDPHE is ensuring Colorado is not at a disadvantage when compliance with the CPP clears legal hurdles. Courts should not hold us back from cutting harmful emissions, so CLLARO is glad to see that the state is moving forward with its own Colorado-grown planning process.
Get involved! Click here to see a schedule of upcoming CPP public meetings.
Listen to interviews with Gov. Hickenlooper on the Clean Power Plan:
- POLITICO’s Sixth Annual State Solutions Conference with Gov. John Hickenlooper
- Colorado Public Radio interview: Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) Speaks With Ryan Warner