Oil and Gas

Pueblo Bonito
Mark Byzewski / CC BY 2.0

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has agreed to put off oil and gas leasing for a year on land that tribes consider sacred surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.

Oil well
Maarten Heerlien / CC BY 2.0

Opponents of a new Colorado oil and gas law that puts public safety ahead of production said Thursday that they will not attempt to overturn it this year, but they may try in 2020.

They had planned to ask voters in November 2019 to repeal and replace the law, but last week the Colorado secretary of state's office rejected four versions of their proposed ballot initiative. State officials said the proposals violated a law requiring initiatives to address only one subject.

State health inspectors equipped with infrared cameras dropped in unannounced on about 2,000 oil and gas operations across Colorado last year and found leaks of heat-trapping methane and volatile organic gas at 13 percent of those sites — half the frequency of leaks they detected five years ago.

President Trump stood in front of an audience of operating engineers in Crosby, Texas, on Wednesday and promised to make it easier for them to lay pipe.

"Nobody in the world can do what you folks do," Trump said to applause from the assembled crowd. "And we're going to make it easier for you."

Oil well
Maarten Heerlien / CC BY 2.0

Colorado public health officials routinely allow oil and gas companies to begin drilling and fracking without obtaining federally required permits that limit the amount of pollution they can discharge into the air.

The state Department of Public Health and Environment allows companies to release emissions without permits under a decades-old exemption that gives a 90-day window, the Denver Post reported Sunday.

Scott Franz

Cities and counties that have spent years fighting for more regulatory power over the state’s oil and gas industry are now just one signature away from getting it.

Democrats in the Colorado Senate gave their final approval on Wednesday to Senate Bill 181, which will let local governments increase setbacks and impose fines for spills and air quality violations.

Matt Bloom / KUNC

The Senate passed sweeping oil and gas legislation on Wednesday, confirming several House amendments requested by industry representatives concerned about its economic impacts. The bill now heads to Gov. Polis’ desk, where he’s expected to sign it.

Oil and gas
Matt Bloom / KUNC

The Colorado House passed a major overhaul of oil and gas regulations in a final hearing Friday morning, sending the legislation back to the full Senate one last time to approve amendments.

Lawmakers voted 36-28 to approve Senate Bill 19-181. One House member was absent.

Oil well
Maarten Heerlien / CC BY 2.0

Colorado's long-running battle over oil and gas drilling in suburban neighborhoods has erupted again, and this time the stakes are deeply personal.

As state lawmakers debate whether to clamp stronger health and safety regulations on the industry, stories of loss and anxiety are emerging on both sides.

Pueblo Bonito
Mark Byzewski / CC BY 2.0

Native American leaders are banding together to pressure U.S. officials to ban oil and gas exploration around a sacred tribal site that features massive stone structures and other remnants of an ancient civilization but are facing the Trump administration's pro-drilling stance.

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