The CMA Government Affairs Committee meets weekly most Mondays during the Colorado legislative session. Chaired by Jim Sanderson, CMA’s Vice Chair of Governmental Affairs, the Committee reviews legislation and discusses the strategy CMA will execute at the capitol when communicating the mining industry’s view to policy makers.
The Committee’s charge is complicated as Democrats now control Executive and Legislative branches. Groups such as Conservation Colorado which dumped 4 million dollars into Colorado legislative races, wield considerable influence with Democratic legislators.
The Committee’s focus has been addressing House Bill 1113 which addresses water quality impacts from hardrock mining operations. The bill requires a “hard date” be established for the termination of treatment of water prior to a mining plan being approved by the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board. The bill also eliminates self-bonding. CMA is communicating its concerns about the bill to the sponsor and the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety.
The CMA Board established a position against House Bill 1037 which authorizes electric utilities to refinance the cost of fossil fired electric generating units with the goal of incentivizing their early retirement.
CMA anticipates other legislation addressing issues related to climate change, and potential re-writes of Colorado’s environmental statutes. Still though, CMA members should take note that our oil and gas colleagues face dozens of bills intending to harm their industry despite the defeat of Proposition 112 by Colorado voters which increased oil and gas setbacks.