In the News

CPR: Why a new air quality bill is the latest in rift between Gov. Polis and environmental justice groups

It won’t be the first battle between Gov. Jared Polis and environmental justice advocates, but a new bill from Democratic lawmakers could mark one of the most direct confrontations over Colorado’s current approach to climate change and air pollution.

Legislation filed this week calls for significant revisions to newly minted rules meant to cut climate-warming emissions from large industrial sites. In particular, it would force regulators to scrap a provision allowing companies to meet the requirements by paying into a state-managed fund, which critics describe as a pay-to-comply loophole.

The plan, however, is likely to face opposition from business groups. Meghan Dollar, a senior vice president for government affairs for the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, said the business organization is still reviewing the legislation, but she’s concerned lawmakers would scrap a set of regulations forged through months of careful negotiations.

“This could set a dangerous precedent for future regulatory efforts and continues to move the goalposts on environmental policy when industry needs predictability to operate effectively,” Dollar said.

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