DENVER (CBS4) - People concerned about protecting the air protested at the state Capitol on Sunday hoping to catch the attention of Colorado lawmakers. They’re upset over recent legislation aimed at revising the clean air act.
Protesters want leaders in Congress to stand up against the Energy Tax Prevention Act. One of the lawmakers who helped introduce the act says it would still allow states to regulate emissions and be in charge of climate policies, but not allow those to be enforced nationally.
The argument is that new, strict Environmental Protection Agency regulations will essentially force American businesses out of businesses or force jobs and energy production overseas.
Protestors at the Capitol say the act would take power away from the EPA, arguing that some lawmakers are putting profits over public health by allowing companies to operate with fewer regulations and oversight.
Another reason for the introduction of the legislation is to keep the EPA off the backs of American businesses. There’s a fear that strict regulations and fines would raise the cost of coal and other fossible fuels, essentially driving them out of the market and limiting energy options.
Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton is in agreement with the legislation.
“These EPA regulations run counter to free-market principles and directly impact rural communities, small businesses and families in my district,” Tipton said in a statement. “We simply cannot continue down this path of creating unnecessary regulatory traps that drain our economy do little more than penalize small business and discourage job creation.”
Coal currently provides half of the nation’s electricity because it so affordable. The new EPA regulations are specifically targeted at fossible fuels and regulating greenhouse gas emissions.