According to a recent study, a significant majority of Colorado residents are worried about the effects of air pollution and want the government to take more decisive action to minimize it as the state’s summer ozone season worsens.
According to a poll conducted by the organization Advanced Energy Economy and released on Monday, nearly 75 percent of Coloradans believe that state leaders “should do more to cut emissions from gas and diesel automobiles.” The poll, conducted by YouGov, interviewed 600 Coloradans between June 8 and June 16.
Emilie Olson, a policy principal at AEE, said in a statement that “summer should be about enjoying the outdoors, but it’s become an ozone warning season when it’s often unhealthy to be outside.” This is largely due to truck pollution. “Coloradans want state officials to act right away to eliminate the vehicular pollution that is creating poor air quality.”
Respondents favored the creation of an Advanced Clean Trucks rule, which would compel producers of medium and heavy-duty vehicles to market an increasing proportion of zero-emission versions, by a 2-to-1 majority.
A minimum of six states, led by California, have passed the ACT regulations, which are applicable to a variety of vehicles, from delivery vans to tractor-trailers. Environmental organizations were disappointed when Gov. Jared Polis‘s administration postponed rulemaking until at least 2023, despite Colorado air-quality regulators’ earlier announcement that they intended to enact the rule this year.
About 25% of Colorado’s annual greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the transportation sector. While light-duty passenger cars make up the majority of that number, Colorado trucks are predicted to have released 5.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019 along with additional local air pollutants that disproportionately affect communities of color and those with lower incomes.
According to the survey, seven out of ten Coloradans say that air pollution “negatively impacts” their quality of life. Additionally, nearly half of those polled said they would be more likely to support a candidate who emphasized the need to lower vehicle emissions, compared to just 16 percent who said they would be less likely.
In addition to a low-carbon fuel standard and discounts for the purchase of electric trucks, the AEE poll indicated substantial support for a number of other policies targeted at decreasing emissions in the transportation industry. A smaller majority of Coloradans, 41 percent, said they would support legislation requiring all new medium- and heavy-duty cars to be electric by 2035 as opposed to 38 percent who would reject it.
Olson stated that “phasing out the polluting, long-distance trucks that spew high amounts of tailpipe emissions as they traverse through Northern Front Range, Commerce City, and throughout the Denver metro area will minimize the harmful haze that plagues our air.” In order to move our state closer to an electrified transportation system that is better for our communities and our economy, our research demonstrates that Coloradans will continue to support real action, like the implementation of the Advanced Clean Trucks regulation.
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