Reducing Air Pollution from Colorado’s Transportation Sector

SWEEPThe transportation sector is the second-largest source of GHG emissions in Colorado; in 2016, transportation emissions became the leading national source of carbon pollution. Significant reductions in these emissions are needed to reach the climate goals set at the Paris COP 21. Research and data analysis of effective regulations in other states will guide proposals for implementation of Colorado regulations that will reduce transportation-based carbon pollution.

This project involves the development of an analysis that evaluates the impact that state and municipal policies would have on Colorado's ability to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector by 2050.

Based on existing baseline scenarios & modeling previously developed by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) for transportation emissions this project will identify assumptions and impacts of various policies to be created in Colorado to address transportation-related carbon emissions including costs of control measures. Human health, environmental, and carbon-reduction benefits will be identified. 

Potential policies include (but are not limited to) Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Cap and Trade, Land Use and Transportation Planning.  To reduce emissions significantly CO will need to adopt more aggressive policies and decision makers need to better understand these policies impacts.

Note: As federal regulations shift in the next few months, the rights of states such as California to create and enforce regulations that exceed the federal standards will play out legally and politically. The role and policies of Elaine Chao, the newly appointed Secretary of Transportation, will become more clear, as will the possibilities and successful defense strategies for the many people and organizations in the United States who support active transportation and reductions in carbon emissions. In light of these factors, the focus of this project may shift in focus to be most effective and useful.