by Senators Kevin Lundberg & Scott Renfroe
If your car was in good working order, would it make sense to have it fixed anyway?
The government is trying to fix something that isn’t broken by forcing costly and time-consuming vehicle emission tests on residents of Weld and Larimer counties. The program is taking money from Larimer and Weld families to fund government bureaucracies and a business monopoly.
If House Bill 1082 becomes law, the vehicle emission tests required for gasoline vehicles in Weld and Larimer counties will be suspended. What that means is no fees or tests as long as our air quality continues to meet or exceed the EPA standards.
The program could be resumed in future years only if the scientific, measured evidence ever proves that we are outside of clean air standards.
Today the evidence is quite clear: We are in compliance with all current clean air standards, and the multiyear trends have been consistently improving.
The normal replacement of older cars with newer vehicles continues to improve our air quality. Additionally, the oil and gas industry has invested heavily in emission controls. Without the vehicle testing program, our air quality has steadily improved in both Larimer and Weld counties. HB 1082 will allow this process to continue.
The recently imposed emission tests are not needed. They cost our citizens far too much time, trouble and money. That is why we support suspending the tests, with HB 1082, and only allowing the tests in the future if the facts prove we are out of compliance.
In addition, the argument that including Larimer and Weld counties in the Denver Metro testing region will help areawide compliance is a false notion. The clean air standards are not an average of all testing locations. Instead, all locations must individually pass the standards.
Adding the additional areas in our counties simply increases the number of locations that must meet the standards. If any one station ever fails, the entire region is then out of compliance.
For Weld and Larimer counties the emission testing program is too much government regulation and too much government-imposed costs for families just trying to get by in these tough times.
We all want clean air and clean water, but over-regulation with minimal benefit for the time, trouble and cost is not good public policy.
The commissions for both Weld and Larimer counties, as well as several town councils, have passed resolutions calling for an end to the emissions testing. HB 1082 passed the House last month with bipartisan support despite all northern Colorado Democrats voting against the bill. The bill now is in the Senate, which will be a tough battle. Everyone who cares about this issue needs to get involved.
At 1:30 p.m. Thursday, HB 1082 will be given a public hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee. Anyone who wishes to give the committee their comments is welcome to come and be a part of that hearing.