By TJ Brown
Front Range Field Director / Colorado Environmental Coalition
Thank you for the amazing difference you made for the environment in this year’s Colorado General Assembly. The session wrapped up last week and there is widespread agreement in the environmental community that big gains were made. Here is a quick review:
- HB 1280 – PASSED – Protects water right holders when they choose to lease or donate water to the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
- HB 1346 – PASSED – Makes funding available to purchase instream flows for water conservation purposes.
HB 1369, which would have created a tax incentive for water right holders to donate to the instream flow program, failed to pass the Senate after making it through the House of Representatives.
Clean, Renewable Energy
- HB 1160 – PASSED – Creates fair and uniform rates for homeowners and businesses for the excess electricity produced by their solar, wind, or geothermal energy systems.
- HB 1164 – PASSED – Encourages the Public Utilities Commission to consider large-scale solar power plants as a way to meet our state’s energy needs.
- HB 1350 – PASSED – Enables local governments to provide lower interest loans to Coloradans who are making clean energy and efficiency improvements to their homes.
HB 1107, which would have created energy savings for homeowners and businesses, failed to pass due to heavy opposition from the Colorado Rural Electric Association.
- HB 1141 – PASSED – Gives local governments better information a proposed development’s water supply.
HB 1312, which would have tied state transportation dollars to smart growth plans, failed in the House of Representatives.
And, a major victory on uranium mining:
- HB 1161 – PASSED – Protects communities from the harmful impacts of uranium mining.
- SB 228 – PASSED – Makes information about prospective mining operations more available to the public.
These measures will protect Colorado’s environment for decades to come. You have been an integral part of ensuring these successes.