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April 22, 2015

Colorado General Assembly
State Capitol Building
Denver, Colorado 80203
 
RE: SB15-258 - OPPOSE
 
Dear Members of the General Assembly:
 
As members of Colorado’s business community, we the undersigned members of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) urge you to oppose SB15-258.  E2 is a nonpartisan, national community of business leaders who promote sound environmental policies that grow the economy. We are entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who collectively have been involved in the financing, founding or development of more than 1,700 companies that have created more than 570,000 jobs. Our members manage billions of dollars in venture and private equity capital that will flow over the next several years into new companies in Colorado and beyond.

SB15-258 would upend the well-established standard implementation procedure that has provided certainty to Colorado businesses for decades.   Instead of leaving the development of Colorado’s Clean Power Plan in the hands of scientists and technical experts, it would give either house of the legislature the ability to veto whatever plan is developed.  Even with the best intentions, we believe leaving the final approval of the state implementation plan to the legislature would unnecessarily politicize the issue, add bureaucratic delay and create uncertainty for all stakeholders. The process that currently exists is transparent with ample public input - there is no need to alter it by adding a legislative review process that allows only one chamber of the legislature to veto this important standard.
 
The Clean Power Plan has the ability to boost Colorado’s economy and create jobs through new investments in critical clean energy infrastructure and energy efficiency technologies, while saving money for consumers and businesses.  The funds saved through energy efficiency can be used for spending on local goods and services while helping to boost businesses’ bottom lines. Because of forward thinking policies Colorado is already 75 percent along the way toward meeting the Clean Power Plan’s goal and with the flexibility granted by the Clean Power Plan, Colorado can achieve the final 25 percent reduction through whichever options work best for our state, including energy efficiency and renewable energy industries that are proven to grow jobs. 
 
For example, Colorado already has over 74,000 jobs in green goods and services, including 30,000 in clean tech, 14,000 in energy efficiency and 5,000 in the wind industry and over just the past two years the clean energy projects announced in Colorado are expected to create over 1,800 jobs in the solar, wind, and biogas industries. With a well-drafted State Implementation Plan that builds on this foundation, it is fair to expect this growth to continue and accelerate.
 
We believe this legislation is not about protecting electricity consumers, but rather about unnecessarily delaying the dire need to address the economic and environmental threat of climate change. As a result of repetitive and unnecessary bureaucratic steps, SB15-258 would make it nearly impossible for the state of Colorado to submit an implementation plan to EPA by the June 2016 deadline (as stated in the Clean Power Plan proposal). As a result, EPA would then have the authority to write the plan for how Colorado must meet the Clean Power Plan standards and Colorado would lose its ability to craft a solution that is right for our unique energy system, priorities, and vision.
 
Clean energy policies like the Clean Power Plan have proven to be good for our environment, the economy, and businesses. We urge you to reject this bill and allow the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to maintain its existing authority to implement these federal air quality protections, which is within its technical and regulatory expertise. We have confidence this agency will take a comprehensive approach to facilitating Colorado’s Clean Power Plan while maintaining a strong economy for our businesses.
 
Sincerely,
 
E2 Rocky Mountains Chapter Members

Jeff Bennett
Founder, Big Kid Science
Lisa Bennett
Andrew Currie
Investor, Active Minds LLC
Jamila Rockette
Consultant
Linda Scott Cummings
Director, Paleo Research Institute

5 members

 

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