Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Tuesday mandating that the state adopt low emission vehicle standards, incorporating parts of California’s low emission vehicle program.
The executive order is designed to help the state meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2025.
It comes several months after the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would revise the emissions standards developed during the Obama administration.
"The (EPA’s) decision could also have serious consequences for Colorado’s efforts to meet our clean energy goals by increasing carbon dioxide emissions from Colorado’s vehicle fleet," Hickenlooper’s order read.
The EPA made its decision to roll back emission standards in April, with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt saying the standards were too strict for automakers to achieve.
Those emission standards called for automaker fleets to average more than 50 miles per gallon for model years 2022 to 2025.
The decision to roll those back also set up a showdown between the EPA and California, which was given a special waiver to set its own fuel standards, which was being reviewed by Pruitt.
Hickenlooper’s executive order said the Clean Air Act allows Colorado to adopt California’s alternative vehicle standards, something 12 other states have already done.
“Colorado has a choice. This executive order calls for the state to adopt air quality standards that will protect our quality of life in Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper in a news release. “Low emissions vehicles are increasingly popular with consumers and are better for our air. Every move we make to safeguard our environment is a move in the right direction.”
Those standards call for a low emission vehicle program, similar to federal regulations and a zero emission vehicle program, which calls for manufacturers to sell a specified percentage of zero emission vehicles.
The order also calls for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to develop a low emission vehicle program in Colorado and for the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to adopt the regulations into the Colorado Code of Regulations by Dec. 30, 2018.