(March 21) – A pair of bills to mitigate the effects of climate change in Colorado passed the House Transportation & Energy Committee today.

HB18-1274, sponsored by Majority Leader KC Becker, D-Boulder, and Rep. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, would commit the state to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions as called for in the Paris climate accords and in the Colorado Climate Plan first issued by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2017.

“Under the Trump administration, the federal government has stopped trying to combat climate change, so we must take it on ourselves to follow through on this crucial commitment,” Rep. Becker said. “Coloradans, by large margins, believe climate change is happening, they believe we should do something about it, and they believe we should be doing something about it now.”

“Colorado will be more impacted by climate change than many other states, and as such we have an obligation to do more about it than many other states,” Rep. Bridges said. “This bill is a strong step in that direction.”

A companion bill, HB18-1297, is sponsored by Reps. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, and directs the Colorado Resiliency and Recovery Office to develop a toolkit to help Colorado communities and individuals to be less susceptible to wildfires, floods and other weather-related disasters.

“Climate change has disrupted growing seasons for agriculture, reduced our ski season, lowered river flows for rafting and fishing and scarred landscapes for hiking and hunting,” Rep. Pettersen said. “As disasters occur more frequently due to a changing climate, it is essential that the state work with our communities to provide tools and strategies to be resilient and adaptable.”

“To turn a blind eye to what’s happening will only lead to worse results in the future,” Rep. Winter said.

The Transportation & Energy Committee voted 8-5, on party lines, to advance HB18-1274 to the House floor and HB18-1297 to the Appropriations Committee.

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