DENVER, CO -- Colorado home and business owners testified in support of HB21-1034 before the Colorado House Energy & Environment Committee today. Advocates expressed grave concern about threats from state and local governments to prohibit sources of energy, which would force residents and businesses to pay exorbitant prices for electricity.
“Prohibiting the use of natural gas would overload our existing power grid, which could cause wildfires and rolling blackouts as we have seen in California,” said Candace Whitehouse, a concerned resident from Erie who testified remotely to the committee. “Why would you take the opportunity of choice away from us? I am a Colorado native. I was born in Boulder in 1983, and I live in Erie. But I’m quickly being priced out of my home state. Natural gas is a clean and affordable option.”
The committee heard HB21-1034, a proposal from Rep. Dan Woog that aims to protect consumers’ right to use natural gas or propane. The measure would effectively invalidate any statute, rule, local ordinance or resolution that limits or prohibits the use of natural gas or propane for cooking, hot water, space heating or electrical generation.
“Nearly three-quarters of Colorado households use natural gas or propane to heat their homes, cook their dinners and provide hot water, safe lighting and many other critical energy needs,” said Rep. Woog. “Yet, some special interests want to ban our access to gas. I intend on protecting it.”
Ultimately, the committee voted 7-5 in opposition to the measure. However, the hearing underscored the growing concern among citizens of Colorado about the prohibitions considered across the state that will ban access to gas.
Lesley Short of Lehrer Fireplace and Patio was another advocate in support of the bill. “By eliminating the gas portion of our business, it would potentially eliminate hundreds of jobs throughout our supply chain,” she said. “My family settled in Colorado in the 1860s, and we have watched Colorado change and progress over time. Vote yes and show us founding Coloradans that you care for the health and safety of our jobs, our families and our communities.”
“The use of clean burning affordable propane energy is essential,” said Marshal Younglund, a Colorado rancher and Area Manager for Amerigas from Commerce City who testified in support of the bill. “We need to have multiple sources of energy. This helps create competitive prices, competitive distribution, and competitive research and development.”
“It’s critical that we have every option available,” said Rep. Perry Will, a member of the committee who voted in support of the bill. “Natural gas and propane are both clean burning fuels.”
Gas is a clean, reliable and affordable source of energy for Colorado families and businesses. The direct use of natural gas and propane achieves 91% energy efficiency. Through its distribution value chain, gas delivers three times more useful energy to end-use consumers compared to energy delivered through the electric grid.
Gas is also an important part of Colorado’s economy, generating more than $31 billion in economic impact. The industry also provides high-paying jobs for Colorado workers, supporting more than 239,000 jobs and paying more than $23 billion in wages each year.
For more information about Protect My Gas, as well as the benefits of gas to consumers and the state, visit https://www.protectmygascolorado.org/.