The Colorado Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee along a party-line vote (3-2) approved House Speaker Frank McNulty’s and Senate Majority Leader’s John Morse’s bill, HB 1291, which rubber stamps a costly and likely illegal State Implementation Plan (SIP) on regional haze.
Nine people representing a variety of different groups including consumers, unions, mining, the Independence Institute’s Amy Oliver Cooke and William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute testified against the controversial measure. (Watch testimony of Carol Kirkstadt and Amy Oliver Cooke and William Yeatman) Incredibly compelling was the testimony of two members of the steel workers union in Pueblo who described the effects of higher energy costs on families, business and manufacturing in that area.
Four testified in favor including Xcel Energy, which, as we have noted, has had its way with the state legislature.
The bill still has to pass second and third reading on the floor of the Senate. Conventional wisdom says it won’t face much opposition considering the political fire power supporting it.
Two pro-consumer bills, SB 236 and SB 237, still have a hearing scheduled for Monday, April 25 at 1:30 pm in the same committee. But if HB 1291 passes second and third reading before those two are heard, they will be irrelevant.
In other news, Speaker McNulty has a new job with the law firm Grimshaw & Harring. According to an April 1 press release, McNulty will continue to advance the New Energy Economy:
Frank’s priorities continue to include securing a balanced and responsible energy future for Colorado, through the responsible use of traditional, alternative and renewable resources. Come May, when the current legislative session ends, he is looking forward to lending his years of knowledge and advocacy to advise Grimshaw & Harring clients towards the advancement of the state’s energy and water policies.
Congratulations Speaker. Law firms pay better.