The Senate’s version of climate and energy legislation was formally introduced yesterday. Titled “The American Power Act”, the draft is 987 pages long and includes darn near everything. Reading any substantial amount of the bill is going to take a while; understanding it will take even longer. Of course, by the time activists read and understand it, it will probably be in the process of being modified. Regardless, here are two links that I’m looking at. The first is the full bill; the second is a section by section summary.
Leslie Robinson at Colorado Confidential wrote a very good piece regarding Gov. Ritter’s Transportation Panel, their recent findings and a meeting on the West Slope. The quote that sums up everything is at the end:
“People say they don’t want toll roads; they want free roads,” [Jennifer] Schaufele [from the Denver Regional Council of Governments] said. “Unfortunately, there are no such things as free roads.”
Or how about this one:
“People take our roads for granted,” added Colorado Transportation Commissioner Doug Aden. “So unfortunately, they won’t react until the crisis is upon us.”
As usual in Colorado, the problem with finding solutions boils down to the crippling effects of TABOR. The problems don’t stop there: in addition to being unable to raise taxes to fund maintenance, federal dollars have dried up and driving miles have only increased since 1992.
As Jennifer’s quote summed up: here’s what’s going to happen: people will continue to insist on driving on roads for free until they fall apart. Then it will be all the big, bad government’s fault for not keeping them up to date, despite the hamstringing they imposed on said government. The right-wing’s talking points on taxes sure worked out well, didn’t they?