COGA Capitol Review

COGA’s Legislative, Legal & Regulatory Committee has taken a position on the following bills.  For more information on COGA’s positions, contact email hidden; JavaScript is required, COGA Director of Communications & Public Affairs.


HB17-1116
Position: Support

Short Title: Continue Low-income Household Energy Assistance
Sponsors: T. Exum | M. Hamner / B. Martinez Humenik

Current law provides that the department of human services low-income energy assistance fund, the energy outreach Colorado low-income energy assistance fund, and the Colorado energy office low-income energy assistance fund receive conditional funding from the severance tax operational fund through the state fiscal year commencing July 1, 2018. The bill removes the automatic repeal which means that these funds will be eligible for this conditional funding indefinitely.

Status: 05/22/2017 Sent to the Governor


HB17-1124
Position: Support

Short Title: Local Government Liable Fracking Ban Oil And Gas Moratorium
Sponsors: P. Buck / T. Neville

The bill specifies that a local government that bans hydraulic fracturing of an oil and gas well is liable to the mineral interest owner for the value of the mineral interest and that a local government that enacts a moratorium on oil and gas activities shall compensate oil and gas operators, mineral lessees, and royalty owners for all costs, damages, and losses of fair market value associated with the moratorium.

Status: 2/22/2017 House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs – Postpone Indefinitely


HB17-1152
Position: Support

Short Title: Federal Mineral Lease District Investment Authority
Sponsors: Y. Willett | D. Mitsch Bush / R. Scott

The bill gives a federal mineral lease district (district) the option, but not the obligation, to invest a portion of the funding it receives from the local government mineral impact fund in a fund. Current law requires the district to distribute the funding to impacted areas in the district, but also allows the district to reserve all or a portion of the funding for use in subsequent years.

The bill specifies that the district may appropriate and disburse any part of the invested funding and all sums in excess thereof, including interest, dividends, or similar appreciated values, but specifies that the district shall do so only upon the enactment of a resolution identifying the reason for the appropriation and disbursement.

The bill specifies that the district may invest the funding subject to the district’s investment policy and in any investment in which the board of trustees of the public employees’ retirement association may invest the funds of the association, which are the same investments in which the state treasurer is authorized to invest the local government permanent fund, which is comprised of 50% of the federal mineral lease bonus payments.

The bill allows the board of directors to engage the services of investment advisors, but specifies that the selection of investment advisors must be made following an open and competitive process.

The bill also requires the district to adopt an investment policy resolution that must be reviewed annually and must include:

  • An acknowledgment of the board of director’s fiduciary responsibility with respect to oversight of the district’s investment policy;
  • Performance benchmarks for all investments and for all investment advisors who may be hired by the board of directors;
  • A requirement for the preparation and publication of annual financial statements that must include, at a minimum, information regarding starting balances, contributions, investment income, and losses, if any, and any investment fees incurred;
  • Careful consideration of investment fees or other brokerage costs which might reduce investment returns; and
  • A requirement that the board of directors annually review the investments and annually set appropriations to be included in the trust fund.
    (Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status: 04/04/2017  Governor Signed into Law


HB17-1232
Position: Support

Short Title: Public Utilities Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles
Sponsors: J. Danielson / K. Priola

In an existing provision that authorizes resellers of electricity and natural gas to provide motor vehicle charging or fueling stations as unregulated services, the bill authorizes public utilities to provide these services as regulated or unregulated services and allows cost recovery.

The bill allows a utility to apply to build facilities to support alternative fuel vehicles. Standards are set for approval. When a facility is built, the rate and charges for the services:

  • May allow a return on any investment made by an electric public utility at the electric public utility’s most recent rate of return on equity approved by the commission;
  • May allow a return on any investment made by a natural gas public utility at the utility’s weighted average cost of capital at the public utility’s most recent rate of return on equity approved by the commission; and
  • Must be recovered from all customers of an electric or natural gas public utility in a manner that is similar to the recovery of distribution system investments.
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 04/26/2017 Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely


HB17-1256
Position: Oppose

Short Title: Oil And Gas Facilities Distance From School Property
Sponsors: M. Foote

As part of the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission’s (commission) authority to regulate oil and gas operations to prevent and mitigate significant adverse environmental impacts to protect public health, safety, and welfare, the commission requires oil and gas production facilities and wells to be located at least 1,000 feet from s chool buildings and other high occupancy buildings. The bill clarifies that the minimum 1,000-foot distance from which newly permitted oil and gas production facilities and wells must be located from any school applies to the school property line and not the school building. The bill further clarifies that it does not apply if a school commences operations near oil and gas facilities or wells that are already actively in use or permitted.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 04/12/2017 Senate Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Postpone Indefinitely


HB17-1285
Position: Support

Short Title: Refinance Water Pollution Control Program
Sponsors: D. Mitsch Bush | P. Lawrence / C. Jahn | J. Cooke

Current law finances the state’s water quality program with a mix of general fund money and fees that are paid by sources that discharge pollutants into the state’s waters. Section 2 of the bill raises the fees and establishes goals for future adjustments of the ratio of revenue from fees and the general fund as follows:

  • Commerce and industry sector: 50% general fund and 50% cash funds;
  • Construction sector: 20% general fund and 80% cash funds;
  • Municipal separate storm sewer: 50% general fund and 50% cash funds;
  • Pesticides sector: 94% general fund and 6% cash funds;
  • Public and private utilities sector: 50% general fund and 50% cash funds; and
  • Water quality certifications sector: 5% general fund and 95% cash funds.

Section 4 appropriates $433,042 from the general fund to the department of public health and environment for use by the water quality control division, and section 5 appropriates $774,965 to the department for use by the division from the 6 water quality sector funds.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: Active 


 

HB17-1336 
Position: Oppose

Short Title: Additional Protections Forced Pooling Order
Sponsors: D. Young / M. Foote

Current law authorizes forced pooling, a process by which any interested person–typically an oil and gas operator–may apply to the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission for an order to pool oil and gas resources located within a particularly identified drilling unit. After giving notice to interested parties and holding a hearing, the commission can adopt an order to force owners of oil and gas resources within the drilling unit who have not consented to the application (nonconsenting owners) to allow an oil and gas operator to produce the oil and gas within the drilling unit notwithstanding the owners’ lack of consent.

The bill specifies that:

  • At least a majority of the royalty interest owners must join in the application before the commission can enter a forced pooling order;
  • The hearing notice must be given at least 90 days before the hearing;
  • Before entry of a pooling order, the prospective drilling unit operator must give the affected interest owners a clearly stated, concise, neutral explanation of the laws governing forced pooling; and
  • The operators of drilling units shall, before commencing drilling operations, file an electronic report with the commission that states the number and location of nonconsenting owners, and the commission shall post the reports in a searchable database on its website.

Status: 05/03/2017 Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely


HB17-1372

POSITION: OPPOSE

Short Title: Oil Gas Operators Disclose Pipe Location Development Plans
Sponsors: S. Lebsock | M. Foote

The bill requires an oil and gas operator to give electronic notice, in a format and by a deadline established by the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission by rule, of the location of each flow line, gathering pipeline, and transmission pipeline installed, owned, or operated by the operator to the director of the commission and each local government within whose jurisdiction the subsurface facility is located. The commission shall post the information on its website in a searchable database.

The commission recently promulgated several rules to implement 2 of the recommendations of the governor’s oil and gas task force. The bill also codifies some of the essential elements of one of the 2 recommendations, with the following modifications: The rules require operators to share their development plans with municipalities where the proposed operations will occur; and the bill adds counties where the proposed operations will occur.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 5/10/2017 House Second Reading Special Order – Dead


SB17-035
Position: Support

Short Title: Tampering With Oil And Gas Equipment
Sponsors: J. Sonnenberg / J. Becker

There is a current crime of knowingly destroying, breaking, removing, or otherwise tampering with equipment associated with oil or gas gathering operations. The bill increases the penalty from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony.

Status: 04/12/2017 House State, Veteran, and Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely


 

SB17-152
Position: Support

Short Title: Implement Changes Made By Amendment 71
Sponsors: L. Court / C. Kennedy | S. Lontine

The bill implements changes to the Colorado constitution approved by voters at the 2016 general election that make it more difficult to amend the state constitution by:

  • Prohibiting a petition for an initiated state constitutional amendment to be submitted to voters for approval or rejection unless the petition is signed by the constitutionally specified number of registered electors who reside in each state senate district and total number of registered electors; and
  • Requiring at least 55% of the votes cast on any state constitutional amendment to adopt the amendment; except that only a simple majority of the votes cast is necessary to adopt a state constitutional amendment that only repeals in whole or in part a provision of the state constitution.

When a draft of a ballot issue that proposes a state constitutional amendment is filed with the title board, the title board must decide if the proposed constitutional amendment only repeals in whole or in part a provision of the state constitution for purposes of determining the required percentage of votes cast to adopt the amendment. The designated representatives of the proponents or any registered elector who is not satisfied with the title board’s decision may appeal the decision by filing a motion for rehearing to the title board. Decisions of the title board at the rehearing on this issue may be directly appealed to the Colorado supreme court in the same manner as ballot title and fiscal impact abstract appeals.

The bill requires the secretary of state to notify proponents of a petition for an initiated state constitutional amendment of the number and boundaries of the state senate districts in existence and the number of registered electors in each state senate district at the time the petition format is approved. The secretary of state must validate signatures on a petition for an initiated state constitutional amendment by random sampling. If the random sample establishes that the number of valid signatures is 90% or less of the total number of registered electors needed to declare the petition sufficient, the secretary of state is required to deem the petition to be not sufficient. If the random sample establishes that the number of valid signatures is more than 90% of the total number of registered electors needed to declare the petition sufficient, the secretary of state is required to order the examination of each signature filed.

After the examination of a petition for an initiated constitutional amendment, the secretary of state is required to issue a statement as to whether a sufficient number of valid signatures from each state senate district and a sufficient total number of valid signatures appear to have been submitted to certify the petition to the ballot. If the secretary of state declares that the petition appears not to have either a sufficient number of valid signatures from each state senate district, a sufficient total number of valid signatures, or both, the secretary of state’s statement shall specify the number of sufficient and insufficient signatures from each state senate district, the total number of sufficient or insufficient signatures, or both, as applicable. The bill allows the proponents of the petition to cure an insufficiency of signatures in one or more state senate districts, the total valid signatures, or both, as applicable.

$4,120 is appropriated from the department of state cash fund for use by the department of state for personal services.

Status: 04/28/2017 Governor Signed into Law


SB17-188
Position: Oppose

Short Title: Repeal Income Tax Credit Innovative Motor Vehicles
Sponsors: V. Marble

The bill repeals the income tax credits for innovative motor vehicles and innovative trucks for purchase and leases entered into on or after January 1, 2018.

For the 2017-18 state fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter through the 2020-21 state fiscal year, the bill requires the state controller to credit an amount of tax revenue estimated to be retained by the repeal of the income tax credits to the highway users tax fund.

The bill requires the secretary of state to submit a ballot question, to be treated as a proposition, at the statewide election to be held in November 2017 asking the voters:

  • To increase state tax revenue by a specified amount in each fiscal year through the 2020-21 state fiscal year by the repeal of the income tax credit for innovative motor vehicles and the income tax credit for innovative trucks;
  • To credit the resulting estimated tax revenue to the highway users tax fund; and
  • To allow an estimate of the resulting tax revenue to be collected and spent notwithstanding any limitations in section 20 of article X of the state constitution (TABOR).
    (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status: 04/24/2017 Senate Second Reading Laid Over to 05/11/2017 – Dead


 

SB17-301 
POSITION: SUPPORT

Short Title: Energy-related Statutes
Sponsors: R. Scott | V. Marble / L. Saine | K. Becker

Section 1 of the bill provides a nonstatutory legislative declaration about the changes in law set forth in section 2 of the bill.
Section 2 directs the public utilities commission to adopt rules by which it will evaluate applications filed by Colorado’s investor-owned natural gas utilities to acquire interests in natural gas reserves, which at a minimum must establish criteria for asset evaluation and application review and administration; except that an investor-owned utility’s costs associated with any approved application may not be recovered through base rates.
Section 3 adds a legislative declaration about the Colorado oil and gas commission’s notice to operators to require operators in the state to identify and inspect flowlines within one thousand feet of a building unit to ensure and document integrity of flowlines statewide and to verify that any existing flowline that is not in active use be properly abandoned. This section also requires the commission to regularly report progress to the general assembly.
Section 4 requires, as part of the electric resource planning process, each qualifying retail utility in Colorado to submit to the public utilities commission a proposal for a distribution resource plan. The section also requires the commission to review the proposal and either approve, modify and approve, or reject the plan for the qualifying retail utility.
Section 5 repeals the wind for schools grant program.
Section 6 repeals the renewable energy and energy efficiency for schools loan program.
Section 7 removes the Colorado energy office’s (office) involvement with the forest service and the air quality control commission to support the increased use of woody biomass in bio-heating.
Section 8 removes the office’s involvement in grants with the Colorado energy research institute for the development of a central resource for building trade professionals.
Section 9 :

  • Specifies nuclear and hydroelectric power as a cleaner energy source that the office should promote;
  • Amends the office’s requirement to develop and encourage increased utilization of energy curricula, and expands the collaborative groups to include the energy industry and executive departments;
  • Repeals certain programs for which the office is responsible; and
  • Requires the director of the office and the executive director of the department of natural resources, or their designees, to convene stakeholders for one or more meetings before November 1, 2017, to identify voluntary methods to address funding shortfalls associated with the long-term management of abandoned oil and gas facilities.

Section 10 renames the clean and renewable energy fund as the energy fund and continues the general fund transfer to the energy fund for 4 years and adds the authority to spend the money in the fund for educating the general public on energy issues and opportunities.
Section 11 adds 4 years of funding for the innovative energy fund from the general fund and removes the requirement that the funds used in the innovative energy fund for grants or loans shall be limited to innovative energy efficiency projects and policy development.
Section 12 clarifies that the electric vehicle grant fund may be used to offset costs associated with charging stations for electric vehicles.
Section 13 repeals the office’s authority to submit a proposal for credentialing photovoltaic installers.
Section 14 repeals the green building incentive pilot program.
Section 15 repeals the ‘Colorado Clean Energy Finance Program Act’.
Section 16 removes the office’s responsibility to maintain a list of solar installers, the requirement for a builder to offer that list to customers, and the requirement for the office to offer training on solar installations.
Section 17 removes a requirement for a 2018 study by the office on alternative fuel truck emissions.
Section 18 removes an obsolete section of law pertaining to a computer system for tracking the movement of gasoline or special fuel in the state.
Section 19 removes the office as the administrator of the Colorado carbon fund special license plate.
Section 20 increases the registration fee on electric motor vehicles and the portion of the fee that is earmarked for the highway users tax fund to offset the reduced gas tax collected as a result of the vehicle’s increased efficiency.
Current law authorizes a homeowner to finance certain energy efficiency improvements to the home through a loan pursuant to the property assessed clean energy program (PACE). PACE requires an applicant to file a title commitment on the home and a hearing must be held in order to seek a voluntary subordination of existing liens to PACE’s junior lien. Sections 21 through 24 exempt a homeowner from the title commitment and hearing requirements if the owner is not seeking to subordinate the priority of existing liens and clarifies that housing authorities can use PACE as a completely voluntary assessment.
Sections 25 and 26 make conforming amendments.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status: 5/10/2017 House Third Reading Passed – Dead