Governor Polis Takes Action to Further State’s Commitment to Renewable Energy, Saving Money, Reducing Pollution, and Protecting Water

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Gov. Polis takes additional steps for cleaner air and water conservation


DENVER - Today, Governor Polis signed an Executive Order directing state agencies to reduce air pollution from state operations and advance water conservation at state facilities. This executive action builds on the previous success of the Polis administration’s greening government initiatives focused on reducing the state government's greenhouse gas emissions and protecting water throughout Colorado. 


Within today’s update to his prior Executive Order, Gov. Polis directs the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA) to phase out gas-powered push and handheld lawn and garden equipment used at state facilities located in the ozone nonattainment area. By phasing out this equipment, the state will improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Electric yard equipment is also much quieter and less expensive to operate. Additionally, Gov. Polis directs DPA, in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), to begin using water-wise landscaping at all new and renovated state facilities. Switching to water-wise landscaping will reduce the amount of water needed to maintain state facilities and improve the ecosystem by planting more drought-resistant and native plant species.


“I always want to ensure that our state government is leading by example when it comes to pressing issues like the housing crisis, workforce and job creation, and now we are doubling down on our commitment to lead the way in reducing pollution. We are doing our part to save people money, protect water and our planet,” said Governor Polis. “Colorado is leading the nation on common sense ways to reduce pollution and ensure Colorado can thrive.” 


“I am pleased to see Colorado leading by example as we transition toward a more sustainable future,” said Representative Cathy Kipp (D-Fort Collins), who chairs the House Energy & Environment Committee. “State Government can and should be setting the tone for the state, and we will demonstrate that we can do our part to protect our air and water for Colorado families.”


“These are important steps to ensure our state is setting an example and doing the hard work of addressing the climate emergency and doing what we can as a government to protect our air and water,’ said State Senator Faith Winter (D-Broomfield) Chair of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee and Assistant Majority Leader. “We are showing that while this work is hard, it’s achievable, and these are important actions to create a sustainable future.”


During his first year in office, Governor Polis took action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make government operations more energy efficient and sustainable. The 2019 Executive Order directed state agencies to develop ways to reduce the state's impact on the environment by increasing renewable energy use, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and evaluating use of leased facilities no longer being utilized. Additionally, Governor Polis directed state agencies to develop a plan to transition the state fleet to electric vehicles, saving the state and Coloradans money. The Governor signed an Executive Order in 2022 to build upon these efforts. 


This year, Governor Polis signed a number of landmark pieces of legislation to address climate change and achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040 including a law sponsored by Representative Emily Sirota, Representative Karen McCormick, and Senator Chris Hansen to save people money and deploy a 30% tax credit on the purchase of electric-powered lawn equipment. Last year, Governor Polis signed transformational laws to protect air quality. The Polis administration has installed electric vehicle charging stations at state parks and has provided grant funding to school districts to invest in electric school buses, saving districts money and protecting the health of students.