County commissioners oppose regulation to lower vehicle emissions

MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Governor Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order (B 2018 006) to help lower our states vehicle emissions. However, not everyone is happy about it. Mesa County Commissioners are speaking out against the proposed testing plan, saying it will be more harmful than beneficial.

"With our rural communities, this new standard is not going to fit in well,” said John Justman, Mesa County Commissioner.

The goal of this new order is to try and keep car emissions low, it’s based on California’s system.

"The rule does apply only to 2022 and later model year cars. It does not impact current cars on the road,” said Doug Decker, Colorado Air Pollution Control Division.

Some say it’s good for the environment.

"This is part of a plan to further reduce greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide emissions,” said Decker.

While others say it won’t work in our county.

"I’m very disappointed in the governor, and we are out here in Mesa County, Colorado, where we have a lot of people still living in the rural parts of the community. And if you're a rancher up in Collbran or De Beque or Gateway or Loma, and the Mack area, these fuels standards, electric cars, things are not going to work. I mean let’s face it,” said Justman.

Commissioners say if this regulation goes through, all of their future vehicles, including sheriff’s office SUVs, will have to be replaced using thousands of dollars of taxpayers money.

Mesa County Commissioners wrote a letter to the Air Quality Control Commission opposing the governor’s plan.

It reads in part: "The Cal-LEV standards were written for California, and reflect the conditions in that state not those of Colorado.” "These mandates will punish our citizens solely because of where they live and that is not right or fair."

The next hearing on the proposed regulation will be November 15. That's held by the Air Quality Control Commission, a part of the Colorado Department of Public Health, and if passed through, it will go into effect January 2. That means all 2022 model vehicles will be affected.

"It’s frustrating that the governor can put the whole state into this, when we are dramatically different than California is,” said Justman.

Read the Commissioners full letter to the right of this article.

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