Boulder lawmakers plan to introduce new oil and gas regs

DENVER — A pair of Boulder lawmakers are planning to introduce a new bill that could potentially upend the way oil and gas operators are regulated in Colorado

House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, and Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg, D-Boulder, announced Thursday that they planned to soon introduce legislation that would increase local control over the drilling permit process and shift the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from a group tasked with fostering oil and gas development to a group focused on regulating the industry.

During a Thursday news conference in Denver, Fenberg called oil and gas regulation “one of the most politically challenging issues facing Colorado.”

Recent statewide attempts to transform the rules that regulate the industry have been largely unsuccessful. Proposition 112, which was supported by only about 44 percent of Colorado voters during the election last November, would have pushed new oil and gas drilling activity farther from certain open spaces, homes and other types of buildings, and waterways. In January the Colorado Supreme Court shot down a case that would have required the COGCC to make human and wildlife well-being a priority, not simply one of a host of factors, when deciding on drilling permits.

It is time to update our oil and gas laws to address the needs of impacted communities,” Becker tweeted Thursday. People like Erin Martinez, who lost her husband and brother in the Firestone gas explosion, should not live in fear. We must prioritize public health and safety!”

Becker and Fenberg’s bill would reduce the industries ability to require residents with mineral rights to participate in “forced pooling,” a practice aimed at ensuring a small group of mineral rights owners who object to drilling cannot hold up an oil and gas project involving multiple rights holders.

The bill would also give local government more power to enforce land use and zoning rules, as well as increased setback requirements.

“The oil and gas industry has evolved, but our laws have not,” Fenberg said. “Today we are making a commitment to all Coloradans: Your health and safety are our top priority.”

 

DENVER — A pair of Boulder lawmakers are planning to introduce a new bill that could potentially upend the way oil and gas operators are regulated in Colorado

House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, and Senate Majority Leader Stephen Fenberg, D-Boulder, announced Thursday that they planned to soon introduce legislation that would increase local control over the drilling permit process and shift the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from a group tasked with fostering oil and gas development to a group focused on regulating the industry.

During a Thursday news conference in Denver, Fenberg called oil and gas regulation “one of the most politically challenging issues facing Colorado.”

Recent statewide attempts to transform the rules that regulate the industry have been largely unsuccessful. Proposition 112, which was supported by only about 44 percent of Colorado voters during the election last November, would have pushed new oil and gas drilling activity farther from certain open spaces, homes and other types of buildings, and waterways. In January the Colorado Supreme Court shot down a case that would have required the COGCC to make human and wildlife well-being a priority, not simply one of a host of factors, when deciding on drilling permits.

It is time to update our oil and gas laws to address the needs of impacted communities,” Becker tweeted Thursday. People like Erin Martinez, who lost her husband and brother in the Firestone gas explosion, should not live in fear. We must prioritize…