Presentation Colorado Transportation Blueprint
TRANSPORTATION LEGISLATION REVIEW COMMITTEE
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12:19 PM -- Presentation of the Colorado Transportation Blueprint for the New Energy Economy
Mr. Bob Yuhnke, representing the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), presented to the committee. Mr. Yuhnke discussed Governor Ritter's efforts to promote new energy job growth. He further discussed carbon dioxide emissions originating in the transportation sector. Mr. Yuhnke stated that significant emissions improvements can be made only when emissions decrease relative to population. A handout was provided to the committee (Attachment H).
Mr. Yuhnke discussed light-duty vehicle emissions. He further discussed advanced federal standards to avoid expected increases due to population growth. Cost and fuel savings strategies were discussed. He further discussed regions of the state with the highest number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and potential environmental and economic benefits from transit, transit-oriented development, and tolling.
Mr. Yuhnke discussed an additional option of exceeding federal emissions standards, specifically by fleet electrification. Mr. Yuhnke compared light duty vehicle emissions for different methods of propulsion. He provided additional information on electric propulsion of motor vehicles. Mr Yuhnke responded to questions from committee members. Representative McNulty discussed the importance of using natural gas for motor vehicle propulsion. He further discussed challenges in developing the state's natural gas resources.
Representative Vaad asked Mr. Yuhnke to comment on alternative transportation options. Mr. Yuhnke discussed the expected environmental and cost benefits of FasTracks. Senator Renfroe asked Mr. Yuhnke to comment on the handout provided to committee members, specifically regarding the acceptance of climate change theory. Senator Renfroe asked Mr. Yuhnke to discuss potential fee increases called for in the handout. Mr. Yuhnke stated that user fees are preferable because they would be borne by those using the transportation system.
Senator Williams asked Mr. Yuhnke to discuss his proposal for automobile insurance and related fees set according to VMT. Mr. Yuhnke stated that, under his proposal, fees would be set by VMT and premiums would be based accordingly.
The committee recessed.