In this Capitol Report:
- CACI’s Lobbying Effort Saves Hypothetical 150-Employee Company $117,608.65
- CACI Encourages Support for Junior Achievement “GOLDEN TICKET” fundraiser
- News Media Coverage
- Coal Royalty “Listening Session” to be held in Golden August 18th
- Massive “Clean Power Plan” Finalized, Reduction Percentage Increased and Deadline Extended
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State Policy News
CACI’s Lobbying Effort Saves Hypothetical 150-Employee Company $117,608.65
CACI has released a Web-based model that quantifies the results in dollars that it achieved for its members related to three key bills that CACI successfully lobbied to defeat during the 2015 session of the Colorado legislature:
- HB 1342 – Access to Personnel Files
- HB 1331 – Overtime Expansion
- HB 1083 – Physical Therapy/Chiropractic Co-Pays
CACI members can answer two questions and find out how much CACI saved them. For example, CACI saved a hypothetical 150-employee company $117,608.65.
Go to www.COchamber.com/ROI.
For more information on the model, contact David Tabor, CACI Senior Vice President, Business Partnerships, at 303.866.9650.
CACI Encourages Support for Junior Achievement “GOLDEN TICKET” fundraiser
Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. (JA) is holding its first-ever sports drawing. The organization will sell JA Golden Tickets for $50 each through August 21. Each ticket is a chance to win a pair of season tickets to attend every 2015/16 home game for Denver professional football, basketball, hockey and baseball!
Every dollar raised through ticket sales will make a difference in the life of a future leader. Proceeds from this unique fundraiser will enable JA to deliver its powerful work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs at no cost to schools. Visit www.JAGoldenTicket.org to buy your ticket today!
News Media Coverage
Below is recent news-media coverage of state and federal political, policy and governmental issues of interest to CACI:
“Two major environmental groups endorse Michael Bennet in 2016,” by John Frank, The Denver Post, August 6th.
“Democratic Sheriff Jim Casias to announce campaign in key state Senate District,” by John Frank, The Denver Post, August 5th.
“In deeper dive, poll shows mixed results for Michael Bennet,” by John Frank, The Denver Post, July 28th.
Federal Policy News
Coal Royalty “Listening Session” to be held in Golden August 18th
The U.S. Department of the Interior and Secretary Sally Jewell announced in mid-July that the Department would hold five “listening sessions” across the west and in Washington, D.C., to discuss the issue of coal leases and royalty rates on coal from Federal lands.
The Golden session will be held from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., Tuesday, August 18th, at the Marriott Denver West, 1717 Denver West Boulevard.
Nearly half of U.S. coal comes from the Wyoming and Montana Powder River Basin, and the vast majority of coal mines in the Basin are located on U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property. Increased royalty rates would affect businesses and consumers as well as utilities that provide affordable energy to Colorado.
Environmentalists assert that coal companies are not paying their fair share of royalty rates, a claim that both oversimplifies and vilifies a process that benefits Colorado, its schools, local economies and infrastructure to the tune of $4.8 billion over the last three years, with $1.6 billion of that amount going directly back to taxpayers.
The Interior Department/BLM listening sessions will consider changing the way royalties are levied on coal mined from Federal land, which represents an attempt to kill the industry by eliminating its greatest potential for growth.
The Federal Government currently sets the “competitive rate threshold” for leases and royalty payments before allowing companies to bid. This competitive rate is not publicly disclosed, so mining companies bidding on a lease must bid above the market rate in order to receive a winning bid, therefore providing citizens with a fair market rate of return.
The other, three remaining coal royalty listening sessions will be held:
- August 11th, Billings, Montana;
- August 13th, Gillette, Wyoming; and
- August 20th, Farmington, New Mexico.
For more information, read: Reinventing the Carbon Tax
CACI members with questions or who want more information on attending the listening session should contact Leah Curtsinger, CACI Federal Government Affairs Representative, at 303.866.9641.
Massive “Clean Power Plan” Finalized, Reduction Percentage Increased and Deadline Extended
On Monday, President Obama announced final rules for the Clean Power Plan (CPP) designed by his Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requiring individual states to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The new rule requires each state to submit a plan to comply with reducing GHGs 32 percent by 2030, based on 2005 emissions levels.
States have been given an additional year to devise a plan, and state flexibility comes from each state’s ability to attain emission reductions through four “columns:”
- Reduce emissions from existing coal-fired power plants;
- Transition coal-fired power plants to natural gas;
- Maintain or increase zero-emission nuclear power plants; and
- Increase use of solar/hydroelectric/wind energy sources.
Although the new rule provides states with more time to comply, the reduction percentage is higher than the initially-proposed rule. During public comment on the proposed CPP rule, CACI submitted a letter of opposition to EPA Administrator McCarthy outlining its concerns.
The Colorado General Assembly will continue to focus on Colorado’s rights as a state, as well as addressing the rate impacts this regulation will have on both reliable and affordable energy. The Colorado plan, as discussed during the 2015 legislative session, would include the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in the state’s implementation plan (SIP), in addition to mandatory implementation through Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the U.S. Department of Energy. Below is a quote by Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs) from a recent news media release:
“Senate Republicans are disappointed by the EPA rules rolled out today by the Obama administration. I can promise that Senate Republicans will offer legislation in January to require full PUC public hearings and PUC approval before any state agency adopts rules to implement this costly electric power generation mandate in Colorado. This President continues to show complete disdain for Congress with another end-run around the legislative process. The liberal extremists are conspiring with the White House to eviscerate federalism, the separation of powers and state’s rights.”
In Washington, D.C., The Hill newspaper called the final rule ‘impractical and unrealistic’ due to the sheer inability of states to meet the overarching demands of the regulation, not to mention objections to the Executive Order creating the CPP which goes beyond the EPA’s existing scope and authority to regulate both “outside the fence,” as well as stepping on states’ rights. Below are quotes from The Hill:
“Although the EPA’s most recent proposal only applies to power plants, it will be followed by one on ozone. For purposes of evaluating EPA intent, consider a 32 percent reduction in all carbon dioxide emissions from the 2005 levels by 2030, requiring that emissions in 2030 be no higher than 4.1 gigatons.
Last year’s level was 5.4 gigatons and in 2005 it was 6.1 gigatons. So, in 15 years, power plants and other covered facilities would have to reduce their emissions 1.3 gigatons. In the mid 2000s, Department of Energy (DOE) did a calculation of what was required to reduce emissions by one gigaton. Those calculations show why the president’s goal is completely unrealistic.
Here are some of the DOE numbers:
- Build 136 nuclear power plants or 273 zero emission coal plants;
- Replace 273 million 20-miles-per-gallon vehicles with 40-miles-per-gallon ones;
- Install 270,000 wind turbines, which at the time was three times the total global installed capacity; or
- Install 750 gigawatts of solar power, which was 125 times the installed capacity worldwide.
Any of these options or even one-quarter of them could not be put in place in just 15 years. It should be obvious that attempting any such initiatives would be completely impractical and wreck the economy.”
CACI members with questions about the CPP final rules should contact Leah Curtsinger, CACI Federal Policy Representative, at 303.866.9641.