April 3, 2019
Denver, CO — The Colorado State Senate today voted unanimously in favor of concurring with the House Amendments to SB19-181, Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations. The Senate then voted to repass SB19-181, as amended, by a vote of 19-16. The bill originally passed the Senate chamber in mid-March, but needed a second approval due to additional amendments added during debate in the House of Representatives. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Reforming the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to prioritize public health and safety is a top priority for Democrats this session. In addition to a robust stakeholder process with all sides, the legislation was debated for more than 55 hours over six public committee hearings and floor debates in both the Senate and House chambers. The sponsors, Speaker KC Becker and Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, amended the bill 25 times throughout the committee and debate process, accepting feedback from all stakeholders in order to make the bill better.
“Meaningful reforms to our oil and gas laws are long overdue,” said Majority Leader Steve Fenberg. “This bill will ensure that public health and safety are the top priority in regulating oil and gas development in Colorado, and will empower local governments with the tools they need to address the concerns of their individual communities. I’m extremely proud of all the progress we made in both chambers to craft the best possible policy for Coloradans, and I look forward to Governor Polis signing this bill into law.”
The bill is the most significant and meaningful reform to oil and gas regulations in over 60 years. The bill seeks to provide peace of mind for Coloradans by clarifying that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s mission is to regulate, not foster, the industry. It will empower local governments to take control over what is happening in their backyards and equip them with the tools they need to stand up for their community’s best interests.
To learn more about SB19-181 and the bill’s amendments, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-181.