Colorado Petroleum Council applauds Senate decision to deny passage of bills weakening Colorado’s energy leadership

Colorado oil well - image courtesy of The Huffington Post

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DENVER, May 2, 2018 – Today, the Colorado Petroleum Council welcomed activity by the Colorado State Senate, denying passage of three bills that could have had a harmful effect on the production of natural gas and oil in Colorado, jobs and the economy.

“Colorado’s existing regulations are comprehensive and ensure that development is completed in a responsible and safe manner,” said Tracee Bentley, executive director of Colorado Petroleum Council. “Each of the proposed bills were blatant attempts to stifle natural gas and oil production in Colorado and could have negatively affected local economies and business owners that benefit from the opportunity that the industry brings to Colorado.”

HB18-1289, or ‘Exempt Local Government School Districts Forced Pooling,’ could have prohibited development in certain areas by exempting local governments and schools from statutory pooling. The rejected bill would have restricted operator’s ability to produce the minerals of any mineral owners in a spacing unit without consent from the local government or school, inhibiting production without offering any new protections to mineral and royalty owners.

HB18-1352, or ‘Oil and Gas Facilities Distance from School Property,’ would have required that production facilities be 1,000 feet from the property line, not the building. Existing COGCC regulations mandate that any school or high occupancy building be at least 1,000 feet from natural gas and oil production facilities – a distance supported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The bill would have doubled the current requirements in many cases around the state and significantly reduced the amount of space available for natural gas and oil development, which would be a direct hit to Colorado’s economy.

HB18-1419, or ‘Oil Gas Operators Disclosures Wellhead Integrity,’ would have created policy that undermined the regulatory authority of the COGCC. This bill would have required the state to waste money on a rulemaking despite existing, stringent regulations around well integrity. The Governor’s oil and natural gas task force highlighted the various wellbore integrity rules that are currently in place and found no reason to revisit these areas. The industry is regulated through every step of production and current regulations ensure that wellbore integrity is maintained from start of construction to the end of well plugging. In addition, this rejected bill is redundant of flowline disclosures that were established at the February 2018 COGCC rulemaking. Local Governments are already privy to that information based off those new rules.

“The Senate’s actions strengthen Colorado families’ ability to prosper from the benefits of local production of natural gas and oil,” said Bentley. “The COGCC has the technical expertise to determine and mandate regulations for the industry that ensure safe and environmentally responsible development of natural gas and oil is taking place within Colorado’s communities.”

The Colorado Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 45 million Americans.