This Week in Policy

Oil and Gas Legislation Introduced

Legislation that will drastically change oil and gas operations in Colorado was introduced late Friday and was immediately heard and passed out of the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee on Tuesday night. Senate Bill 181 contains 27 pages of regulations, ranging from increased local governmental control to changing the composition and mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to directing the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) to adopt stricter emissions rules.

The bill sponsors did not solicit feedback from the industry, stating that there has been no meaningful reform to oil and gas regulation in 60 years, when in fact the industry has participated in over 15 rulemakings in the last decade alone. The industry is ready and willing to work with sponsors on changes, understanding that further regulations will be put in place, but they must have a seat at the table to help create policy that works for everyone. Strong environmental standards, safety and the development of our natural resources need not be mutually exclusive – and Colorado has proven that.

Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Chamber, submitted written testimony that called on legislators to include industry in negotiations of the bill going forward, stating that “a two-minute testimony can’t be construed as a meaningful way to engage stakeholders.” The testimony expressed a clear commitment from the Chamber to work with legislators and other stakeholders to ensure good policy that addresses concerns and allows the industry to continue to work safely in Colorado.

Senate Bill 181 will next be heard in Senate Finance, although that hearing has yet to be calendared.  As always, Chamber staff will continue working on your behalf, analyzing and weighing in on legislation that can impact your business. Stay up-to-date on our latest bill positions by checking our website.