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Accelerate Colorado

2017 Successes

Aerospace and Defense

NASA Funding: NASA received $19.519 billion in the 2018 budget, which is $400 million above President Trump’s February 2017 budget request and a big success for Accelerate and the State of Colorado, given Colorado receives billions of dollars in NASA funding via prime contract awards.  Accelerate made NASA funding a priority in its requests with the Delegation and worked with Congressman Ed Perlmutter, who sits on the House Science Committee, to ensure key NASA Programs secured funding.  Senators Bennet and Gardner provided their full support as well.  
 
Colorado Military and Defense Infrastructure: Congress continued to be skeptical on the need for another round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).  Accelerate Colorado worked closely with the Colorado Delegation in opposing a BRAC that would threaten the State’s vast military infrastructure, as any federal effort through BRAC or otherwise to reduce the military presence in Colorado would have a serious negative ripple effect across Colorado’s economy.  Colorado’s military installations and strategic commands support the state’s economic base to the tune of $6.9 billion annually. In addition, eight of the country’s major space contractors have a significant presence in Colorado, and across the board the defense & aerospace industry is one of Colorado’s largest employment sectors in the state, supporting over 188,000 jobs. Recognizing reality, the Pentagon did not  request for a BRAC included in the FY 2019 Defense Budget.   
 
Energy
 
Energy Budget: Accelerate successfully urged our Congressional delegation and other key members of Congress to reject the proposed drastic cuts in the 2018 NREL ($636.1 million) and NCAR ($89.1 million) budgets and the funding was ultimately maintained by the Appropriations Committee.  In addition to their basic and applied science research, these two important national labs provide significant jobs in Colorado and dramatic cuts to these agencies could prove economically detrimental to the State, and would have a negative impact on renewable energy dollars available. 
 
Fracking: Oil and natural gas production has also transformed Colorado’s economy. Producing over 1.1 million barrels of oil per day, the oil and gas industry in Colorado today supports over 213,000 jobs and contributes more than $25 billion to the state's economy, representing 9.1% of the state's GDP. Just as important, Colorado has been able to produce these valuable resources without jeopardizing our environment or putting other important areas of our economy at risk. Accelerate opposed new hydraulic fracturing regulations (fracking) that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been considering, and instead urged Congress and the Administration to allow states to regulate hydraulic fracturing locally, as geographic, environmental and demographic diversity in the U.S. makes regulations at the federal level inefficient and unrealistic.  New fracking regulations have now been halted and the EPA work in this area is no longer a priority.   
 
Renewable Energy Tax Credits: The Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy are scheduled to phase-out in the next 2-3 years.  Colorado is the seventh largest solar market and the tenth largest wind market in the U.S., so Colorado energy companies, and their customers, benefit from the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy.  However, those tax credits were scheduled to phase-out in the next 2-3 years.  Working with our Congressional delegation, Accelerate was able to convey the importance of these tax credits.  In response, Congress preserved the Production Tax Credits and Investment Tax credits in the sweeping tax bill passed on December 22, 2017.  This bill ensured that the wind and solar industries, which are growing in Colorado, will continue to benefit from these two tax provisions.    
 
Healthcare and Bioscience
 
Medical Device Excise Tax: Colorado has a large and growing medical device industry.   The Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as ObamaCare) contained a medical device excise tax that was very problematic for the industry.  After working with our Congressional delegation for months, advocating for a full repeal of the tax, Congress approved a further two-year extension of the current suspension of the medical device excise tax in the comprehensive tax reform bill.  While Accelerate sought a full repeal of the excise tax, the two-year extension allows Colorado manufacturers to continue to seek investment dollars for the many small and start-up companies in the state.