Colorado Republicans, Upset Over Clean Power Plan, Target Air Pollution Monitors

Photo: Courtesy of CDPHE)
A 2013 photo of pollution over Denver.
Photo: Ozone pollution over Denver
A 2013 photo of pollution over Denver.

The division, part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is caught up in a fight over federal climate change regulations.

On Thursday, the legislature's Joint Budget Committee finished hashing out the details of a $27 billion spending plan. In one of their last moves, Republican committee members zeroed out funding for the state’s air pollution control division.

Republicans are frustrated that Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said the division will continue to work on the state’s Clean Power Plan.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court put the federal Clean Power Plan on hold. And Republicans want Colorado to follow suit.

Their move to suspend funding was blasted by environmental groups and the American Lung Association. The budget will be debuted next week. Unless lawmakers reach a deal, the division and its 95 workers would lose funding on July 1.