The Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association (CWPMA) last week withdrew its bill HB-1136 "Prohibition on the Use of Public Land for Retail Sales" after Senate State Affairs Committee Chairman Rollie Heath said he would allow taxpayer dollars to be spent by government entities to compete against private companies.
HB-1136, which prohibits fuel sales on public lands and from any taxpayer-subsidized property, recently passed the Colorado General Assembly. The bill was designed to address recent public-private partnerships where compressed natural gas (CNG) infrastructure is constructed on public property with a pipe extending onto adjacent public property for the purpose of contracting with a private entity to retail CNG.
CWPMA said such agreements are allowing governmental entities to use the private sector's own taxpayer dollars to compete against them and that such arrangements impede private sector investment in CNG and electric vehicle fueling stations because of the complicit benefit such operations glean from tax-free personal property being utilized.
In a meeting last week with CWPMA, state Senator Heath said he would remove CNG as well as electricity for electric vehicles from the bill after groups including the Colorado Municipal League and the Colorado Department of Transportation voiced opposition to the measure.
CWPMA argued that state, cities, counties, environmental communities and transportation authorities should not be allowed to utilize taxpayer dollars to directly compete against the very taxpayer paying those dollars and that such practices would actually impede CNG and electric vehicle charging build-out
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