Colorado House Democrats passed a bill Tuesday to add measurable goals and deadlines to the state's plan to fight climate change.
Without a single Republican vote in the
House, however, the bill would appear to be doomed as it moves to the Republican-led Senate.
The legislation would keep the state on pace — "near-term, mid-term and long-term," it states — to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that most experts say is heating up the planet.
When Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, released his update to the state's 2008 Colorado Climate Action Plan in October, some environmentalists criticized it as a hollow gesture that needed more urgency.
"What we've got here is a set of measurable goals," said Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, a Democrat from Colorado Springs. "This is not a new policy to "do something." It's a policy to set goals to try to figure out where we are and how we are moving or not moving, as the case may be."
Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs, argued that the bill gave government too much power to create and enforce rules without input from those affected the most.
Other Republicans said it would be devastating to low-income Coloradans who could see their power bills increase as a result.
"Let's step back and take a deep breath and think about what we're doing," said Rep. Don Coram, a Republican from Montrose. "This is going to affect the jobs and the economy of rural Colorado. Let's not move the goal posts and create a bunch of losers."
Republicans have said the legislation, if it passes, should also continually measure economic impact of the proposals.
Rep. Faith Winter of Westminster, who sponsored the bill with fellow Democrat Rep. Jeni Arndt of Fort Collins, pointed to the supporters of he bill.
"A coalition of military, faith and business leaders came together to ask for a real climate plan," Winter said. "It's sad that every member of the Republican caucus voted no on this bill but I'm glad to see it move forward."