Conservation Colorado releases 2021 Legislative Scorecard

Report scores votes on 14 climate, environmental justice, and lands and water bills

DENVER — Today, Conservation Colorado unveiled its 2021 legislative scorecard highlighting state legislative conservation victories and the elected officials who made them possible — including 58 state Senators and Representatives who received our coveted 100% pro-conservation score.

“Coloradans have a lot to celebrate from the 2021 legislative session,” said Kelly Nordini, executive director at Conservation Colorado. “From cutting pollution and advancing environmental justice to funding millions of dollars for public lands and water, we’re proud to spotlight victories for our climate, clean air, and communities — as well as the people who made them possible.”

The scorecard describes how this year’s victories were possible because of a coalition of more than one hundred environmental, environmental justice, youth, outdoor recreation, business, social justice, and other groups that came together to push forward a climate bill that makes important progress putting Gov. Polis’ Climate Roadmap into action. That coalition was instrumental in ensuring that we were able to make progress reaching science-based pollution reduction targets to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Our state made real progress in 2021, but we still have more to do. Conservation Colorado and its members will keep fighting to hit our climate targets, reduce pollution in the communities it harms most, and safeguard Colorado’s land and water for future generations.

Bills scored this legislative session include:

Climate and Clean Energy

  1. House Bill 1266 became this year’s top piece of climate legislation when it incorporated key pieces of Senate Bill 200. It establishes a foundation for environmental justice in Colorado and includes limits on pollution, timelines, and provisions for accountability for the utility, oil and gas, and industrial sectors.
  2. Senate Bill 246 directs state regulators to set energy savings targets and help Coloradans move from fossil fuel appliances to energy efficient electrical ones.
  3. Senate Bill 264 sets clean heat targets for gas distribution utilities to help meet Colorado’s climate targets for cutting pollution from buildings.
  4. House Bills 1286 requires large commercial, multifamily, and public buildings to meet energy performance targets over the next five years.
  5. House Bill 1290 transfers $8 million to the just transition cash fund and $7 million to a newly created coal transition worker assistance program account in the fund.
  6. Senate Bill 110 allocates $30 million to provide additional funding for the Department of Transportation’s revitalizing main streets and safer main streets programs.
  7. House Bill 1162 helps address the plastic pollution that is overwhelming Colorado’s landfills and is a significant threat to our health and climate by phasing out single-use plastic bags and styrofoam.

Communities and Justice

  1. House Bill 1189 allows for fenceline monitoring to hold polluters accountable and improve protections for Colorado communities exposed to these dangerous pollutants.
  2. House Bill 1318, the Colorado Outdoor Equity Fund, funds programs that connect disadvantaged youth to the outdoors through a $3 million-per-year fund that can be grown through private donations and contributions.

Lands and Water

  1. Senate Bill 249, the Keep Colorado Wild Pass, will generate sustainable revenues for state parks, wildlife conservation, and outdoor recreation programs.
  2. House Bill 1233 updates and improves Colorado’s conservation easement program.
  3. House Bill 1326 invests $25 million in federal stimulus funding for existing state parks.
  4. House Bill 1260 adds $15 million to the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Water Plan grants program and $5 million to Basin Roundtables to fund local projects aligned with the state’s water goals.
  5. Senate Bill 240 allocates $20 million for Colorado Water Conservation Board work to protect watersheds.