To the editor: Oil industry already takes safety seriously

To the editor:

Left out of the Dec. 4 Editorial: Now it’s up to Colorado’s energy industry to propose a new code of conduct is the fact that the standards proposed by this editorial board are already largely in place and for reasons that go far beyond political ramifications.

The editorial suggests increasing setbacks from 500 feet to 1,000 feet “for some buildings.” That is precisely how current regulations are written, as the industry operates at least 1,000 feet from high-occupancy structures such as schools and hospitals and 500 feet from all other structures.

Regarding Colorado’s orphaned wells, I stood at Gov. Hickenlooper’s side this past summer when he announced an executive order mandating the expedited plugging, remediation and reclamation of precisely these wells. His order set aside funds specifically for these purposes, with industry’s full support.

Community outreach is also a core component of our industry’s operations across the state. Natural gas and oil workers, as well as their families, live, work and play throughout the state, including communities in which development occurs. They have every incentive, personally and professionally, to safely and responsibly develop Colorado’s abundant natural resources in concert with the regulatory preferences of their neighbors and local governments. The natural gas and oil industry has demonstrated a commitment to developing natural resources while protecting the health of communities and the environment, and that will not change.

Far from assuming an antagonistic role in discussions regarding energy development, we prefer to play a proactive one. That’s not just good business; it’s the right thing to do for our communities.

Tracee Bentley

Executive director

Colorado Petroleum Council

To the editor:

Left out of the Dec. 4 Editorial: Now it’s up to Colorado’s energy industry to propose a new code of conduct is the fact that the standards proposed by this editorial board are already largely in place and for reasons that go far beyond political ramifications.

The editorial suggests increasing setbacks from 500 feet to 1,000 feet “for some buildings.” That is precisely how current regulations are written, as the industry operates at least 1,000 feet from high-occupancy structures such as schools and hospitals and 500 feet from all other structures.

Regarding Colorado’s orphaned wells, I stood at Gov. Hickenlooper’s side this past summer when he announced an executive order mandating the expedited plugging, remediation and reclamation of precisely these wells. His order set aside funds specifically for these purposes, with industry’s full support.

Community outreach is also a core component of our industry’s operations across the state. Natural gas and oil workers, as well as their families, live, work and play throughout the state, including communities in which development occurs. They have every incentive, personally and professionally, to safely and responsibly develop Colorado’s abundant natural resources in concert with the regulatory preferences of their neighbors and local governments. The natural gas and oil industry has demonstrated a commitment to developing natural resources while protecting the health of communities and the environment, and that will not change.

Far from assuming an antagonistic role in discussions regarding energy development, we prefer to play a proactive one. That’s…