COGCC Rulemaking Begins Monday for Local Groups

27 environmental and neighborhood groups will head to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rulemaking hearing on Monday, June 17 to have their voices heard for the first time on how to implement SB19-181 Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations. From Broomfield, this includes Anthem Ranch Community Association Board of Directors, Broomfield Concerned, Broomfield Health and Safety First, Broomfield Moms Active in Community, Oil and Gas Education Group, Residents Rights and Wildgrass Oil and Gas Committee.

This rulemaking is regarding the 500 series rules, which includes the hearing process and forced pooling. The following Colorado Sun article describes the prehearing process that has called into question how completely citizens’ voices will be heard.

“New energy legislation didn’t end Colorado’s “oil and gas wars. It just relocated them: All’s not well that Gov. Jared Polis was hoping would end well with wells and nobody’s happy.”

By Mark Jaffe, Colorado Sun 6/14/19

Please read the article using the link below, which includes the following quotes:

“’There was some impression by the commission that this could be something easy and quick to get done,’ said Katherine Merlin, an attorney with Colorado Environmental Advocates, a Boulder-based law firm that represents community groups. ‘It hasn’t turned out that way.’”

“’This is an utter disappointment,’ said Joe Salazar, executive director of Colorado Rising, a grassroots group opposed to drilling. ‘Legislators were thoughtful in drafting Senate Bill 181, and for them to find out the COGCC has screwed it up as monumentally as it has is going to be a disappointment to them.’”

“Then the order for the rulemaking says that motions would be prohibited without the approval of the hearing officer. But the industry filed its motion without that OK, and the next day, the hearing officer, Jonathan Peskin, accepted it.”

“’That opened the door for other motions,’ said Steven Louis-Prescott, an attorney at Astrella Law who is representing mineral owners.”

“For some of the community groups, the problem is the industry. ‘They are playing by the same old playbook,’ said Sara Loflin, executive director of the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans, or LOGIC, an umbrella organization for grassroots groups. “For the first time, community and environmental groups have a seat at the table and the industry is pushing back.’”