Transportation funding bill would accelerate clean vehicles in Colorado
Statement of Elise Jones, Executive Director, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Josh Valentine, SWEEP
email@example.com | 303-304-7613
[DENVER, CO] – Elise Jones, Executive Director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), issued the following statement with remarks on the transportation funding bill introduced at the Colorado General Assembly today:
“This proposal would put more than $730 million toward electric vehicle (EV) solutions, representing one of the biggest investments in transportation electrification by any state anywhere in the country.
“That investment is essential for Colorado. Transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, and we know from the Governor’s own GHG Pollution Reduction Road Map that replacing gasoline engine cars and trucks with ones fueled by clean electricity will be absolutely critical for meeting our state climate targets — which include a 40 percent reduction in transportation GHG pollution by 2030 — along with significantly reducing vehicle miles travelled through transit and other multimodal investments.
“Over the last 10 years, the number of EVs in Colorado grew from near-zero to 35,000, and we need to grow that to one million EVs in the next decade. This bill recognizes the scale of the challenge and generates funding to accelerate the EV market, particularly for communities that are disproportionately impacted by pollution and households that can’t afford to buy an EV.
“To support these new EVs, Colorado will need 11 times more charging stations by 2030 and this bill would put a significant down payment on that infrastructure.
“This bill includes funding for all types of electric mobility, from electric bikes and transit to school buses and trucks, to rideshare vehicles like Uber and Lyft. It includes money to replace the dirtiest vehicles on the road with zero-emission buses and delivery trucks.
“After 2020’s record-breaking wildfires and other climate-fueled disasters, we know we can’t wait another year to meaningfully address the transportation emissions driving the climate crisis. These actions are also necessary to help reduce the high ozone levels and other pollution that are fueling unhealthy air in the greater metro area particularly in neighborhoods overly burdened with highways and tailpipe emissions.
“These investments will pay for themselves many times over in benefits. Transitioning the transportation sector to EVs will save Coloradans tens of billions of dollars by 2050 in the form of reduced vehicle costs, lower energy bills, and the avoided public health and environmental costs of pollution and climate change. The fuel cost savings alone are enormous — imagine if everyone in Colorado paid less than $1 per gallon of gasoline and had the extra spending money to invest in things like healthcare, education, and the local economy.
“Requiring the users of our roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure to pay fees directly related to their use and impact is a fair, logical and legal way to fund our transportation system.
“Thank you to the legislative sponsors and to Governor Polis for leading this important effort to secure a sustainable funding stream for a cleaner, safer and more equitable transportation system in CO. We look forward to working with the Governor and legislative leadership to improve and advance this proposal — particularly when it comes to increasing equity and improving the overall efficiency of our transportation system with more and better multimodal transportation options.”
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, visit swenergy.org.