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Tuesday March 31st 2015

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Colorado to Preempt Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Industries


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Fracking site close to Platteville, Colorado by Senator Mark Udall on Flickr

With the introduction of the Halliburton Loophole in 2005, the federal government largely abdicated its role in regulating the water quality impacts of oil and gas extraction.  Local governments have been forced to step up, and communities in Colorado have been at the forefront of that effort.  Routt County now requires stringent baseline water quality testing (PDF) before development can begin, and monthly re-testing during operations.  The city of Longmont has banned all surface pits (PDF).  The oil and gas industry is striking back against these efforts, with Colorado Senate Bill SB12-088 (PDF) which would preclude local governments from regulating oil and gas operations.  If passed, this bill would slam the door on any potential regulation of fracking on our county open space lands.

A messy patchwork of different regulations in every little jurisdiction would be costly and legally dangerous for the oil and gas industry.  The credible threat of such a patchwork is one of the few points of leverage we have, to get them to accept reasonable regulations at the state or national level.

If you’d like to retain the right to regulate — locally — the activities of these industries then please call and write the Senate Local Government Committee listed below.  You may also attend and testify at the public hearing on the bill if you wish: Thursday, Feb. 16th at the Capitol Building, Senate Committee, Room 353, likely between 9:15 and 9:45am.

JOYCE FOSTER, Chair
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4875
E-Mail: joyce.foster.senate@state.co.us

JEANNE NICHOLSON, Vice Chair
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4873
E-Mail: jeanne.nicholson.senate@state.co.us

IRENE AGUILAR, MD
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4852
E-Mail: irene.aguilar.senate@state.co.us

Tim Neville
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4859
E-Mail: tim@nevilleforcolorado.com

ELLEN ROBERTS
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4884
E-Mail: ellen.roberts.senate@state.co.us

(h/t NRDC Switchboard and Colorado 350)

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2 Responses to “Colorado to Preempt Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Industries”

  1. It has been killed in committee – 4-1 Thank you!

  2. Zane Selvans says:

    Woo hoo! Glad it was such a clear victory.

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