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May 22, 2023

SIGNED! Bills to Develop Innovative Clean Energy and Create Jobs

DENVER, CO - Gov. Polis today signed three bills into law to accelerate Colorado’s clean energy transition by increasing regulatory authority and oversight of advanced energy industries, developing a carbon management roadmap and incentivizing clean hydrogen energy in hard-to-decarbonize industries.

“The need to address the climate crisis is only becoming more urgent, which is why I am so pleased to see these bills be signed into law,” said Senator Kevin Priola, D-Henderson, sponsor of SB23-285, HB23-1210, and HB23-1281. “This package of bills will help Colorado remain on the right path to net-zero emissions by helping us create jobs while encouraging better carbon management and clean energy initiatives. I am proud of our work to help build a healthier more sustainable future for us all.”

“Climate change is a very real threat to Colorado. We need these laws to manage carbon emissions, push toward cleaner energy, and meet our climate goals,” said Rep. Ruby Dickson, D-Centennial, sponsor of SB23-285 and HB23-1210. “These laws will help us reach net zero carbon emissions by encouraging innovative methods for energy generation and carbon management. I’m happy to champion these efforts to create good-paying jobs, meet our climate goals, and make Colorado a leader in clean tech.”

SB23-285, sponsored by Senators Hansen and Priola and Representatives Dickson and McCormick, renames the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to the Energy and Carbon Management Commission and directs the Commission to regulate energy and carbon management areas beyond oil and gas. The Commission will now include new energy generation and storage technologies like deep geothermal and underground natural gas storage. The law also directs the Commission to undertake studies to ensure the safe development and regulation of these new technologies and others, including transportation and storage of hydrogen.

“Climate change impacts our communities each and every day, and we must expand our reach to take advantage of innovative ways to improve our air quality and protect our way of life,” said Rep. Karen McCormick, D-Longmont, sponsor of SB23-285. “This law will expand opportunities for new carbon management and geothermal technologies to reduce our air pollution, protect public health and help meet our climate goals.”

HB23-1210, sponsored by Representative Dickson and Senators Hansen and Priola,  directs the Colorado Energy Office to develop a carbon management roadmap and help Colorado companies successfully undertake carbon management projects. The law will also identify early investment opportunities to de-risk projects that hold the promise of reducing emissions from sectors of the economy that are hardest to decarbonize.

“Achieving Colorado’s bold climate goals requires innovation,” Senator Chris Hansen, D-Denver, said. “Carbon removal is emerging as an innovative, successful technology to be used in the pursuit of a net-zero economy. I’m proud to help Colorado become a leader in carbon management and I am pleased to see this bill be signed into law.”

HB23-1281, sponsored by Representatives Brianna Titone and Stephanie Vigil and Senator Lisa Cutter, sets first in the nation standards for the production of hydrogen energy that will help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel driven sources of energy and create good paying jobs. This law encourages the development of hydrogen projects by building on federal investments and incentives and creating an income tax credit for the use of hydrogen fuel. It also establishes several safeguards to ensure that hydrogen fuel production doesn’t create new emissions by requiring that it be powered by dedicated renewable energy resources, located in close proximity to power hydrogen plants. 

“With this bill being signed into law today, we’re unlocking an innovative and affordable source of green energy in Colorado to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada, sponsor of HB23-1281. “Hydrogen will provide affordable and reliable electricity as Colorado works toward our net zero carbon emission goal. This law protects consumers and our environment while spurring innovation in hard-to-decarbonize industries.”

“With this legislation, we will be able to leverage federal funds to support the transition to hydrogen for specific industrial uses,” said Senator Lisa Cutter, D-Jefferson County, sponsor of HB23-1281. “We worked hard to create a balance;  incentivizing innovative energy options while creating a framework to provide the critical environmental protections necessary. I'm proud that Colorado is leading the way and providing a model for other states as we work towards a carbon neutral future."

“This innovative approach to clean energy production creates a framework for a clean hydrogen economy in Colorado,” said Rep. Stephanie Vigil, D-Colorado Springs, sponsor of HB23-1281. “This law helps us compete for federal funds and incentivizes clean hydrogen in sectors that can’t rely on other forms of renewable energy so we can move away from the use of fossil fuels and reach our carbon and climate goals. I’m proud Colorado is leading the way to promote and reduce the cost of new technologies and more affordable clean energy while creating good paying jobs.” 

The Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap states that we need innovative methods to bring down costs to reach Colorado’s greenhouse gas reduction goals by 2050. Cement and steel production, heavy duty trucking, and aviation fuel are difficult to decarbonize, which is why investing in clean hydrogen energy is promising in efforts to meet Colorado’s climate goals.

In February 2022, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming developed the Western Inter-States Hydrogen Hub to secure federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to fight against climate change.

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