What We’re Watching: House Bill 1339

Last year, the Colorado Chamber led a coalition of companies in an air quality rulemaking initiative referred to as GEMM 2. The final regulations resulted in a significant win for the Chamber’s coalition with less aggressive timelines and an important pathway to compliance – a process that took over a year and was only completed a matter of months ago. More on the Chamber’s GEMM 2 work can be found here.

Unfortunately, the business community was taken by surprise with the introduction of HB 1339. This bill reverses all of the work the Chamber’s coalition put into the final air quality rules, and takes additional steps to stack the Air Quality Control Commission with officials certain viewpoints that are less favorable to business.

This proposal seeks to overhaul the state’s emissions standards – again – moving the goal posts and imposing harsh regulations on the business community. It would put taxpayers on the hook to repeat the same rulemaking process again to reach a different conclusion. This will also create significant new costs for businesses who are trying to comply with Colorado’s complex and ever-changing environmental laws.

HB 1339 would harm Colorado’s economy by:

  • Reducing competitiveness of Colorado businesses;
  • Discouraging growth in manufacturing;
  • Risking curtailment of existing production in Colorado;
  • Preventing companies from realizing benefits of major recent investments;
  • Creating business uncertainty;
  • Introducing regulatory and cost risk;
  • Shifting emissions to other states; and
  • Threatening jobs.

That’s why the Colorado Chamber included HB 1339 in its list of Job Killers announced this week.

From a broad perspective, HB 1339 could also set a dangerous precedent for any other state regulatory efforts in the future. If such significant environmental policy changes can be overturned almost immediately, it opens up any other future rulemaking to instability. This puts into question the integrity of the process and creates unnecessary government waste.

Businesses need consistency and predictability in regulations to operate effectively. They need time to adapt to the many new regulations coming from the state before introducing new ones and changing course. HB 1339 contradicts good governance, driving industries – and jobs – out of state.

HB 1339 was originally set to be heard in the House Energy & Environment Committee today, but this hearing has been postponed due to extreme weather. We are awaiting an updated hearing date.

In the meantime, you can contact members of the committee and ask them to OPPOSE HB 1339 when the hearing is rescheduled. Click here to take action!