Boulder County oil, gas moratorium extended

BOULDER — Boulder County Commissioners voted Tuesday to extend the county’s moratorium on processing new oil and gas development applications through the end of the year.

“A moratorium is in place to give staff time to review and update the county’s oil and gas regulations in light of the changes made to local authority by Senate Bill 19-181,” according to a Boulder County news release. “The county’s update process will include public comment and hearings before the Boulder County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners.”

Commissioner Matt Jones said, “It’s critical we extend the oil and gas moratorium to make sure we have the most protective rules possible for people and the environment. We need to make the most of the increased local control in the new state law, and with the pandemic, we need to take the time to get it right.”

The oil and gas industry has come out against the moratorium extension.

“We are disappointed with Boulder County’s decision to once again extend its seemingly interminable moratorium on new energy production,” American Petroleum Institute Colorado executive director Lynn Granger said in an email. “While local governments have the authority to regulate natural gas and oil development, they do not have the authority to completely prohibit it. By chaining together a seemingly endless series of moratoriums, Boulder County appears to have no serious intent to reopen the county to our industry.”

Boulder County’s previous schedule for drafting new oil and gas regulations was put on hold after the COVID-19 outbreak. The new schedule envisions that final regulations will be crafted by December following rulemakings at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission set to wrap up in October. 

“With too much still unknown about what the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will do this fall with its new rules and how those might affect our local regulations, it doesn’t make sense to rush finalization of our regulations or lift the moratorium until we know we have the best possible regulations we can put in place,” Commissioner Elise Jones said.

BOULDER — Boulder County Commissioners voted Tuesday to extend the county’s moratorium on processing new oil and gas development applications through the end of the year.

“A moratorium is in place to give staff time to review and update the county’s oil and gas regulations in light of the changes made to local authority by Senate Bill 19-181,” according to a Boulder County news release. “The county’s update process will include public comment and hearings before the Boulder County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners.”

Commissioner Matt Jones said, “It’s critical we extend the oil and gas moratorium to make sure we have the most protective rules possible for people and the environment. We need to make the most of the increased local control in the new state law, and with the pandemic, we need to take the time to get it right.”

The oil and gas industry has come out against the moratorium extension.

“We are disappointed with Boulder County’s decision to once again extend its seemingly interminable moratorium on new energy production,” American Petroleum Institute Colorado executive director Lynn Granger said in an email. “While local governments have the authority to regulate natural gas and oil development, they do not have the authority to completely prohibit it. By chaining together a seemingly endless series of moratoriums, Boulder County appears to have no serious intent to reopen the county to our industry.”

Boulder County’s previous schedule for drafting new oil and gas regulations was put on hold after the COVID-19 outbreak. The…