Oil and Gas Regulations

Oil well
Matt Bloom / KUNC

Tensions between oil and gas companies and communities along the Front Range are heating up again. So far this year, at least eight cities and counties have temporarily stopped processing new drilling permits in the wake of a new state law. The latest is Boulder County, where commissioners will hear public testimony on Tuesday on a new nine-month moratorium.

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 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.

1A Across America: The Fight Over Oil and Gas

Mar 21, 2019

When we traveled to Colorado this month, we heard a lot about oil and gas.

It's a $31 billion industry in The Centennial State according to leading businesses and civic organizations, but it's also a big concern to some residents.

Esther Honig / KUNC

About 100 people gathered outside the Greeley Chamber of Commerce on Friday to protest a bill that could tighten regulations on the oil and gas industry.  

“It’s just kind of sneaky,” Weld County resident Jolene Luster said about the bill. “We don’t understand it and it’s going to affect a lot of people. And we need to make sure that it doesn’t go through.

Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

Colorado's Senate has passed a contentious bill to grant more local control over oil and gas drilling operations.

The Democrat-controlled chamber voted 19-15 along party lines Wednesday to send the bill to the House, where Democratic Speaker KC Becker is a sponsor of the legislation.

Senate Republicans
Scott Franz / Capitol Coverage

Colorado Republicans hoping to delay the passage of bills to repeal the death penalty and overhaul oil and gas regulations have demanded that an unrelated 2,000-page bill be read aloud in the Senate.

The Denver Post reports that GOP state Sen. John Cooke invoked a rule Monday allowing lawmakers to demand a bill be read, delaying other action. Cooke says it was the only option minority Republicans had.

Oil and gas tanks
Joe Mahoney / I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS

A bill making its way through the state Legislature is challenging several long-standing practices within Colorado's oil and gas industry, including "forced" or "statutory" pooling.

That's when companies can drill in a certain area without consent from all associated mineral right owners. The practice has been around for decades, but is facing fresh criticism as Colorado's population balloons and oil and gas development creeps closer to neighborhoods north of Denver.

Matt Bloom / KUNC

Updated March 6, 2019 at 9:16 a.m.

A Colorado Senate committee has advanced a bill that would overhaul oil and gas regulations to give local governments more authority over industry operations.

The Senate Transportation and Energy Committee voted 4-3 early Wednesday to send the bill to the chamber's Finance Committee.

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