Governor Polis’s Budget Proposal Makes Strong Air Quality Investments, But Doesn’t Make Up for Delayed Action on Pollution

EDF Statement from Alex DeGolia, Director, U.S. Climate

November 4, 2021
Chandler Green, (803) 981-2211,

(Boulder, CO – November 4, 2021) On November 1st, the Polis administration released its budget proposal for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which included $424.3 million in investments to reduce air pollution.

“After two years of experiencing some of the worst air quality in the U.S., Colorado lawmakers should support all efforts to reduce air pollution that harms Colorado families and disproportionately impacts the health and well-being of low-income communities and communities of color,” said Alex DeGolia, Director for U.S. Climate at EDF. “Governor Polis’s budget proposal for the 2022-2023 fiscal year would make needed investments of more than $400 million to protect Coloradans from harmful air pollution — including to reduce pollution from transportation and provide additional support to air regulators for monitoring and enforcement.

“But to deliver the kind of air quality improvements that Coloradans need, state regulators must also swiftly take action to limit pollution, which the state has a clear obligation to do under existing law. Delays in adopting new policies to reduce pollution are already impacting the state’s ability to meet statutory climate goals and improve air quality.

“Strong new rules covering all sectors of the state’s economy are the Polis administration’s best tool for achieving sustained reductions in harmful local air pollutants and tackling climate change. Such actions can provide deeper and more certain pollution reductions than will be achieved through the budgetary process alone. Investments from the state’s budget should complement these new regulations,  particularly by ensuring benefits flow to Colorado’s most impacted communities; however, investments are not a substitute for comprehensive action to limit pollution.

“We look forward to working with the Governor and state legislators throughout the appropriations process to ensure that investments maximize air quality improvements for Colorado families.”

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