Supporters raise stink about clean-air bill’s veto by Owens
DENVER – A bill that would have allowed Colorado to adopt air-quality standards stricter than the federal government’s was vetoed Monday by Gov. Bill Owens, who said he was concerned about the potential impacts on businesses competing against companies in states with different standards.Owens added that the state can already pass tougher laws.Because the state’s air quality has consistently improved, Owens said he believes House Bill 1309 would have harmed Colorado’s economy without providing any tangible benefit.”I believe in protecting Colorado’s environment and adopting more stringent standards in those circumstances where they make sense,” Owens said.The bill’s supporters reacted angrily to the veto, noting it came only two days after Earth Day.”The governor apparently can’t see the forest for the trees, perhaps because of the smog,” said Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver, the measure’s sponsor. “Children, especially, are hurt by this thoughtless veto, as asthma rates continue to rise across our state.”The Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry, a business lobbying group, said the measure would have opened up the state’s regulations to costly legal battles, and commended Owens for vetoing the bill.A spokeswoman for the House Democrats said she hadn’t heard of any plans to try to override the veto.
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