Signed bill too nebulous and doesn’t account for all of Colorado’s energy consumers
Denver, CO — Today, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), the nation’s leading consumer energy advocate, expressed their disappointment after Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law Senate Bill 19-181 (SB-181), legislation that was fast-tracked through the Colorado assembly. As written, the bill’s primary focus is to restructure the state’s Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and delegate local control to communities along the Front Range.
“This bill would dangerously curtail new oil and gas development, eliminate tens of thousands of jobs, decrease much-needed Colorado tax revenue and eliminate the bulk of the savings residents and businesses have seen in energy costs in recent years,” said Andrew Browning, CEA’s Chief Operating Officer in Denver.
“This legislation purports to protect the health and safety of Coloradans, based on politics, not science. The biggest drawback is that it has the genuine potential to make our state another fortress for socio-economically privileged citizens who are capable of paying the highest electricity rates in the country while pushing out and further marginalizing those who are unable to subsist in Colorado’s increasingly more expensive cost of living.”
Oil and gas production in Colorado provide affordable sources of abundant energy which contribute more than 1 billion dollars in state and local tax revenue. Clean-burning natural gas is also a significant economic and environmental boon to various areas of the state.
According to Browning, “SB 181 is ambiguous, with many questions about how it will be implemented. It was also signed without an opportunity to conduct a full economic study due to the hasty process associated with this legislation. Because of this, there is no clear understanding of the long-term impacts this bill will have on families, businesses, and taxpayers. Unfortunately, bills like this have consequences, and often it’s too late to address those consequences once something like this passes.
“Unfortunately, those consequences will be passed along to our friends and neighbors, because ultimately they are what is at stake when the dust settles.”
CEA recently conducted an analysis that showed the energy industry helped Coloradans save over $12.4 billion over the last ten years. Savings our growing communities need. This bill was ultimately written thinking about only a few cities in the Front Range, but this needs to be legislation that is for all of Colorado – not just a few communities.
“Aside from the dollar impacts to companies, employees and state and local coffers, the real question is: How will the losses resulting from this bill be shouldered by Coloradans,” asked Browning? “It is CEA’s opinion that Colorado consumers will ultimately end up shouldering the burden by paying higher taxes. This bill means that the state is losing revenues for essential public services like schools, hospitals, emergency responders, police and more. Where will the state come up with this money? The voters in the state should be concerned that new taxes may be imposed to make up for this significant lost revenue.”
He finished by saying: “One thing is for sure – restricting energy is bad politics, and families and businesses should take note just what bills like SB-181 will do to their wallets, and their budgets.”
About Consumer Energy Alliance
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is the leading consumer advocate for energy, bringing together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers to support America’s environmentally sustainable energy future. With more than 550,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households and businesses across the country. CEA works daily to encourage people across the nation to seek sensible, realistic and environmentally responsible solutions to meeting our energy needs.