Monday, June 11, 2012

CCIA's 2012 Legislative Session Wrap-up

2012 was another successful session at the State Legislature for CCIA.  In addition to passing our bill, we successfully weighed in on a variety of bills on behalf of the cleantech industry in Colorado.
On May 3, Governor Hickenlooper signed our bill, HB 1258 – Alternative Fuel Vehicle Charging Stations, into law.  CCIA would like to thank our bill sponsors Rep. Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) and Sen. Cheri Jahn (D – Wheat Ridge) for their leadership on this important issue.  CCIA would also like to thank the many stakeholders who helped pass this legislation.  
HB 1258 clarifies that if a business places an electric vehicle charging station or natural gas fueling station on their property and offers this to their customers, they are not regulated by the PUC.  This places natural gas and electricity for alternative fuel vehicles on par with gasoline and diesel in the marketplace.  In addition, the bill clarifies that if a business has renewable energy on their property and also an electric vehicle charging station they will not be regulated by the PUC.
This session CCIA also weighed in on several bills in various committees including the two listed below signed into law by the Governor:
  • HB 1312 – Clarifies and streamlines local government and PUC jurisdiction for new transmission relating to Certificates of Public Convenience & Necessity;
  • HB 1315 – Reorganization & Funding for the Governor’s Energy Office. This bill changes the department’s name to the Colorado Energy Office, fully funds the office and breaks it into two divisions: 1) Renewable Energy Fund; and 2) Innovative (Traditional) Energy Fund.  This bill will allow the office to maintain current staffing levels and existing programs while also focusing on innovation with traditional energy in Colorado.

CCIA Testified in support of the following bills that were NOT signed into law:
  • S. 182 – Establishment of Benefit Corporations.  Gives corporations the option to include a financial charitable commitment in their articles of incorporation as part of their corporate mission not just maximizing profits for stakeholders etc.  Prominent examples are Patagonia and New Belgium Brewery, Aspen Ski Company and GoLite also testified in support.
  • S. 180 – Colorado Forest Energy Jobs.  CCIA testified “neutral” but supportive of future bills promoting increased biomass, solar thermal and beetle kill utilization. The sponsor switched this bill to a resolution in committee and CCIA indicated its willingness to work with stakeholders on a thermal/co-generation study group.

While it seems that we just finished the 2012 session, we're hard at work planning for the 2013 session.  The CCIA public policy working group will be expanding its efforts this coming year and we look forward to working with our partners across the energy spectrum.

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