For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 17, 2019
Contact: Garrett Garner-Wells, Communications Director, Conservation Colorado, 303-605-3483
Coloradans Applaud Gov. Polis’ Bold Actions to Advance Electric Vehicles, Clean Air
DENVER — Today, in one of his first major administrative actions, Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order that will reduce carbon emissions for Colorado’s transportation sector, the second-largest source of carbon pollution in our state. Governor Polis’ action sets in motion a plan to accelerate large-scale adoption of, and increase consumer choice of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) in Colorado.
The Executive Order:
- Creates a transportation electrification workgroup to develop, coordinate, and implement programs and strategies to support widespread transportation electrification.
- Directs the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to develop a rule to establish a Colorado Zero Emission Vehicle program.
- Revises how the state will allocate nearly $70 million from the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” case to focus all remaining, eligible investments on electrification of transportation, including transit buses, school buses and trucks.
- Orders the Colorado Department of Transportation to develop a ZEV and clean transportation plan to support the widespread deployment of electric vehicles in ways that save energy, reduce congestion and improve our transportation network.
In response to the Governor’s announcement, advocates released the following statements:
“Governor Polis’ Executive Order is an important first step in moving Colorado toward cleaner air and climate action. Pollution from the transportation sector is a major contributor to climate change in our state, and a threat to our Colorado way of life – with this ZEV standard, we can have clean air and a strong economy. We applaud the Governor and are eager to continue working together.”
Kelly Nordini, Executive Director, Conservation Colorado
“We should not have to choose between clean air and getting to where we need to go. Electric vehicles will cut pollution in a way that will save us money. The cost to fuel an electric vehicle is a third of the cost of filling up at a gas pump and electric vehicles have fewer maintenance costs. We applaud Governor Polis for speeding up our transition to an electric-powered future.”
Danny Katz, Executive Director, Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG)
“Governor Polis is leading on critical environmental issues right out of the gate. By attacking tailpipe pollution he taking on climate change and pushing for cleaner skies for Colorado at the same time. This action is good for the economy, great for the environment and shows Colorado leadership. With the federal government AWOL on all these issues, Colorado is stepping up.”
Noah Long, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
“Colorado is a national leader in fighting greenhouse gas pollution from power plants – but the science is clear that we must also reduce pollution from cars and trucks if we want to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change. Governor Polis’ executive order will allow us to leverage Colorado’s increasingly green electricity generation fleet to achieve further and compounding reductions in pollutants from the transportation sector. Governor Polis’ leadership will help our state prepare for growing consumer demand for electric vehicles while cleaning up our air and reducing greenhouse gas pollution that causes climate change.”
Erin Overturf, Clean Energy Program Deputy Director, Western Resource Advocates
“The Colorado Sierra Club applauds Governor Jared Polis for making one of his first actions in office one that addresses the climate crisis in our state. While the federal government goes backward on climate action, Governor Polis showed today that Colorado will charge ahead on solutions to cut pollution from transportation, putting at least one million more electric vehicles on the road by 2030.”
Jim Alexee, Director, Colorado Sierra Club
“It’s already clear that Coloradans are calling for action on climate. Utility providers and municipalities are making bold commitments to protect our environment and now our state government is following suit. Governor Polis’ charge to clean up Colorado’s transportation sector is exactly what communities across Colorado want to protect our health, our air, our environment, and our economy.”
Kelsey Maxwell, Clean Cars Organizer, Environment Colorado
“This executive order is a significant commitment by the new governor to support forward-thinking policies that will advance the adoption of electric vehicles, saving Colorado residents money at the fuel pump, and helping to lower electric rates, all while making our air cleaner and lowering carbon pollution. SWEEP congratulates Governor Polis for this bold action.”
Howard Geller, Executive Director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)
“By committing to electric vehicles, Colorado is investing in a clean transportation future. We know electric vehicles run cleaner, reducing the pollution that causes climate change—and that advantage is only going to increase as Colorado invests in renewable electricity. We know they’re cheaper to operate and maintain—a driver in the Denver area can save more than $700 a year fueling their car on electricity instead of at the pump. Thanks to Governor Polis, Colorado could join the forward-looking states who are building a strong electric-vehicle market. With smart policies, more Colorado drivers could reap the benefits of electric vehicles.”
Michelle Robinson, Clean Vehicles Program Director, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)
“We are thrilled to have Governor Polis joining us here at The Alliance Center to sign this executive order. Colorado has long been a leader in sustainability, and it is encouraging to see our new governor committing to our citizens’ health, to stronger environmental protections and to our clean energy economy.”
Brenna Simmons-St. Onge, Executive Director, The Alliance Center
“Today Governor Polis joined states across the country in working to increase the deployment of electric vehicles, and proved his commitment to improving Colorado’s readiness for a clean, zero-pollution transportation system. We’re excited about Governor Polis’ vision, and look forward to working with the new administration to both accelerate these critical clean technologies and reduce climate pollution – so we can protect Colorado’s environment and its economy.”
Pam Kiely, Senior Director of Regulatory Strategy, Environmental Defense Fund