Colorado Chamber President and CEO Loren Furman and Colorado Oil and Gas Association President and CEO Dan Haley were featured on the Make Action Happen Podcast on Wednesday to discuss legislation at the capitol and Colorado’s overall business climate.
The pair discussed how HB 1294 (Pollution Protection Measures) and the proposed Utility Rate Regulation bill will negatively impact Colorado, the lack of stakeholder process while drafting the bills and what it means for Colorado’s future if they are signed into law.
HB 1294 would subject new oil wells and natural gas wells to greater scrutiny while also allowing the state health department for the first time to apply its regulations requiring pollution permits to indirect pollution sources, such as commercial buildings. The bill has been under great scrutiny as it would be costly to the $27 billion oil and gas industry in Colorado. The bill would also reach beyond the oil and gas industry as it would affect other businesses such as trucking companies, bakeries, breweries, hotels and more.
“We can have the environment that we want and the economy that we need but we have to work together,” said Haley.
Another point of concern is how this bill and other bills such as the Utility Rate Regulation bill would impact the cost of doing business in Colorado and our competitiveness with other states.
“We are losing our competitiveness as a state compared to other states. We’re now number 36 for the cost of doing business in Colorado,” said Furman. “Our business climate is deteriorating, and we are losing businesses to Utah, to Texas, to Florida and the list goes on.”
A recent report from the Colorado Chamber in partnership with Dietrich Partners assessed the state’s overall business climate and the factors impacting company decisions to expand or contract operations in Colorado. The report highlighted the concerns businesses have regarding an increasingly complex and cumbersome state legislative and regulatory landscape that effect their ability and willingness to do business in Colorado.
The Colorado Chamber is leading a coalition of business groups across the state in opposition to HB 1294. Please contact Laura Moss at [email protected] to add your organization’s name to our coalition list.