March 6, 2019

Denver, CO – After 12 hours of testimony, the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee today passed SB19-181, Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations, a bill sponsored by Majority Leader Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) which seeks to prioritize the health and safety of all Coloradans and empower local communities to regulate oil and gas operations in their backyards. The bill passed the committee 4-3 and now moves to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

“This bill is about one thing: creating a clear, modernized, and commonsense framework to allow the oil and gas industry to continue to do business in the state of Colorado, but not at the expense of people’s health and safety,” said Majority Leader Fenberg. “I received a lot of input from Coloradans prior to the bill introduction and we’ll continue to work with anyone interested in improving this bill throughout the upcoming committee hearings.”

It has been more than 60 years since meaningful changes have been made to Colorado’s oil and gas laws, and local communities and Colorado families have been forced to bear the steep consequences. Importantly, the bill will clarify that the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is to regulate – not foster – oil and gas activities.

The legislation grants local governments the authority to regulate oil and gas operations, directs air quality experts to adopt commonsense rules to reduce harmful emissions including methane, and increases protections for property owners from forced pooling.

To learn more about SB19-181, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-181.