New Colorado Fossil Fuel Fee Will Fund Transit

Lawmakers say the agreement prevents a drawn-out legislative battle and establishes a new source of transit funding.

1 minute read

May 2, 2024, 10:05 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

RTD train pulling into a station in Denver, Colorado

An RTD train in Denver, Colorado. | Jim Lambert / RTD train in Denver, Colorado

Colorado lawmakers have agreed to drop one set of air quality legislation and propose two new bills to “codify agency rules that cut smog-forming compounds from drilling operations into state law and establish a new fee for oil and gas production” in an effort to prevent a lengthy ballot process and legislative back-and-forth and to create a new source of transit revenue. “Kelly Nordini, the CEO of Conservation Colorado, said the agreement offered a better outcome than pursuing a divisive and complicated ballot fight this fall.”

According to reporting by Sam Brasch, Nathaniel Minor, and Bente Birkeland for Colorado Public Radio News, “State. Sen President Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said the new fee is expected to generate an average of $138 million annually. Eighty percent of the new revenue stream would go toward public transit across the state, including a potential Front Range rail line. The other 20 percent would support parks and wildlife conservation.”

The new funding could help complete the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) FasTracks rail construction plan that voters approved in 2004 and which remains incomplete. Of the projected new transit revenue, 70 percent would go to local operations and the rest would fund state rail projects and grants.

Monday, April 29, 2024 in Colorado Public Radio

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