President’s Message: Thank you for your continued support

As we head into the final months of the 2020 election campaign, we also need to campaign for your support as we will be sending invoices renewing your CMA membership.                                                     

Recent elections in Colorado have shaped Colorado’s energy future dramatically, perhaps comparatively to the manner the COVID-19 virus has in the last few months. That change was propelled by the election of Governor Jared Polis and majorities of Democrats. The last election resulted in massive changes to Colorado’s energy landscape, including the enactment of aggressive climate legislation.

Perhaps the nation’s hottest Senate race will feature Senator Cory Gardner against former Governor John Hickenlooper, a race that could determine which party controls the Senate. Already, the 2020 election has seen the shocking defeat of Congressman Scott Tipton, a champion of developing our nation’s energy resources. At the same time, we thank those members who have already been reaching out to candidates such as Lauren Boebert to educate them on the importance of mining in Colorado.

Please see CMA Lobbyist Dianna Orf’s summary of the ballot issues facing Colorado voters. CMA anticipates taking positions on several ballot initiatives that directly affect our members. We will communicate those positions to the CMA membership.

But it is our advocacy of mining at the state capitol that demands our full attention. Our Government Affairs Committee meets weekly to identify, strategize and take positions on mining related legislation. More than 25 miners from Twentymile mine and other mines traveled to Denver to testify against an increase on the severance tax on coal. It was with pride that I watched each and every one of those individuals in their own words express their opposition to that tax increase that would have had direct effects upon mining operations as well as an impact on their local communities.

Unlike other business organizations, we expressed strong opposition to Representative Jovan Melton’s efforts to prohibit drug free workplaces by prohibiting employers from firing workers using cannabis off-duty. We also didn’t buckle like other business organizations when the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment asked legislators for massive fee increases and an entirely new “Dredge and Fill” permitting program to counter the revised Waters of the U.S. promulgated by the Trump Administration.

We are fortunate to be able to draw upon the expertise not only of our members, but on many friends and colleagues throughout the Colorado business community. Not only we do we lock arms with our friends at the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Competitive Council and Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, we find unusual alliances with entities who may share the same position despite having differences on other issues. We can never forget the strong bond that exists between CMA, its member companies and the local governments that must communicate the benefits mining provides Colorado.

This spring, we were able to quickly secure expert legal analysis of late breaking tax legislation during the last week of the extended legislative session, as well as the history of Colorado property tax law which legislators now propose to repeal. These resources help us provide you and your management the tools to fully analyze legislation and regulatory proposals and determine the impact on your company. Our Board of Directors, committee chairs, and members work together for the mutual benefit of the CMA membership. We are also pleased to be able to present the latest information on new laws, employer practices and Colorado’s elections through webinars and other association communications.

Looking forward, we know that Colorado’s business and political landscape will continue to change, and perhaps that change will accelerate even faster as businesses and individuals have adapted to the recent pandemic. CMA is well prepared to adapt to those circumstances. We are proud to have represented Colorado’s oldest, and most important industry, for more than 140 years and look forward to supporting our members in the coming year.

I would like to sincerely thank all our members for their participation in the Association. Whether it is sponsoring our successful golf tournament, attending a webinar, or participating in our committees, we thank you for your confidence, support, and investment in the Colorado Mining Association.