Kenneth Nova: Oil and gas bill is good for Colorado

In the the writer states that Colorado has strong oil and gas regulations. However, many issues remain and Senate Bill 181, “Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations,” addresses them very well. The oil and gas companies are claiming that the bill will lead to job losses, tax revenue disappearing and more expensive heating costs. They poured millions into defeating Proposition 112, and they‘ll try to defeat SB-181. Don‘t fall for it.

Currently, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is charged with “fostering” the industry. This is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house. SB-181 changes that to give the COGCC the “duty” to regulate the industry. The bill also changes the make-up of the COGCC to remove two industry representatives and replace them with a wildlife protection expert and public health expert. Common sense.

SB-181 gives local governments, such as Boulder County or Longmont, local control over permitting land use decisions for oil and gas, just like all other such decisions. Oil and gas companies would need to start the permitting process through local governments, rather than getting the OK first from COGCC, then springing it on local governments.

Forced pooling laws would be changed to require a majority of those holding mineral interests to agree to pooling, rather than just one being able to do that now. Orphan well reclamation would be speeded up. COGCC rule-making would require considerations of air quality issues and emissions levels.

SB-181 is a good bill for Coloradans, for public safety and health, for our economy, for the environment, and for our ultimate absolute need to wean ourselves away from climate-altering fossil fuel consumption before it‘s too late.

Kenneth Nova

Boulder





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