Coming off a legislative session marked by some of the most anti-growth proposals in recent memory, Colorado Democrats are approaching the mid-way point of this year’s legislative calendar still focused on legal and regulatory initiatives that will grow red tape and impede job growth. Of course, we didn’t actually believe Colorado Senate President Morgan Carroll when she remarked before the session that Democrats’ main goal would be to improve Colorado’s economy.
From squashing common sense legislation to protect small business from the 25,000 pages of Colorado state regulations enacted since Hickenlooper took office, to a bill targeting entrepreneurs that provide standalone ER facilities that would expand healthcare options in the state and provide relief to our over-used hospital emergency rooms, Democrats have continued their trend of saying one thing and doing another.
On the oil and gas front, Democrats have focused their attacks on what could be our state’s most promising engine for job growth through non-legislative measures. This weekend the Denver Business Journal reported that advocates for a state-wide fracking ban may compromise for a constitutional amendment giving local municipalities more control on exploration and production activities in their jurisdictions. Such a measure stands to meaningfully curtail the economic activity that the oil and gas industry has brought to our state. On the regulatory front, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission enacted what a representative from the Environmental Defense Fund called the nation’s “strongest rules” for the detection and mitigation of emissions across the oil and gas exploration and production value chain.
Unfortunately for middle-class Coloradans hoping for economic growth, our state’s Democratic leadership is not committed to setting the conditions for jobs and businesses to flourish.