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Goodbye legislature, hello Governor Polis

from The Denver Gazette

Denver Gazette Editorial Board

  • May 10, 2024

Photo:Gov. Jared Polis speaks about the 2024 legislative session during a press conference on Thursday, May 9.

Gazette file

LKY: well, at least he agrees that the EPA is "awful", that the "assault weapon ban" is not a good idea, and that he ,along with other states, wants to keep our National Guard. BUT, we need to see which of the 300 bills on his desk he decides to sign,.

Gov. Jared Polis loves the environment. He talks climate change and pollution, visualizing zero emissions by 2040. He wants more electric cars.

One might assume our green governor cherishes the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency. Wrong.

“Oh, they’re (the EPA) awful. Just awful. Awful, awful, awful,” Polis told The Gazette’s editorial board on Thursday.

“We’re fighting them on many fronts, but particularly now — and I say this with several exclamation points — on this insane requirement for this reformulated gas.”

Polis met with the editorial board to discuss several policy matters after the state Legislature’s conclusion Wednesday. It seems Polis dislikes the EPA for the same reason The Gazette’s editorial board opposes most big green bully tactics. Polis sees excessive environmental mandates harming average consumers.

Against the governor’s protestations, the EPA will force fuel stations in metro Denver to sell an expensive, reformulated fuel that purportedly favors cleaner air. Polis fears fuel tourists will drive outsize the mandate zone and negate environmental gains.

“Everybody’s going to drive a few extra miles, which makes our air even worse and will add to traffic because it may be 40- to 50-cents cheaper — worth driving that extra couple of miles for. A supply crisis is likely,” Polis said.

We wondered how his defense of low-cost fuel melds with his new agreement with Colorado’s largest oil and gas producers. It includes hefty new fees on oil and gas producers, who will pass the costs to consumers.

“No. I mean, talk to economists, but I think it would be very hard to show that as having any impact,” Polis said. “I mean, oil and gas is a global commodity.”

In other words, the market will dilute the price hike to a proverbial drop in the global bucket. True, but Colorado is the fourth-largest oil and gas producer in the world’s largest oil-and-gas producing country (by far). If deals like this catch on throughout the country, fuel costs will soar around the globe and torment those surviving on the least.

When Polis isn’t dealing with Big Oil and the awful EPA, he’s battling Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall’s plan to merge all 14 Space National Guard units with Space Force.

Colorado hosts more units than any other state and is home to one-third of Space National Guard personnel.

As Polis fights for National Guard units, he anticipates another battle over Colorado Springs-based Space Command. Then-President Donald Trump ordered relocation of the command to a Trump-friendly state in 2021. President Joe Biden reversed the decision last year.

“I have myriad concerns about the quixotic and irrational decision-making process of the former President (Trump), if he were to become president again,” Polis said. “Of course, the siting decision of Space Command would be among those many concerns.”

With the session over, Polis expressed disappointment that House leadership failed to move the Senate’s bill to stop predatory lawyers from exacerbating the housing crisis with construction defects nuisance lawsuits.

The governor seemed pleased that the session ended without the proposed “assault weapons” ban.

“I’ve always been skeptical about that kind of measure,” Polis said, declining to tell if or how he stopped it.

Doctrinaire radicals control our Legislature. Give thanks that this session has ended, shifting power back to one person the public can hold accountable. With more than 300 bills awaiting his signature, let’s hope the governor defends consumers with the concern he exudes in polite conversation.

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