Comprehensive Oil and Gas Bill Passes House Energy and Environment Committee 7-4 Unamended

SB 19-181 Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations was passed unamended at 2 a.m. by the House Energy and Environment Committee with a 7-4 vote. It will likely be heard in the House Finance Committee on Monday, March 25 at 1:30 pm.  It passed through three Senate Committees and then the entire Senate on March 13.     

At 1:25 into the 9 News 10 pm live clip linked below, Council Member Deven Shaff is seen behind Crestone Peak Attorney Jamie Jost as they wait among the hundreds who testified on both sides. Thanks to all who spoke on behalf of health and safety.

The House Energy and Environment Committee vote was:

Yes- Rep. Froelich (D), Rep. Kipp (D), Rep. Sirota (D), Rep. A. Valdez (D), Rep. Weissman (D), Rep. Hooton (D), Rep. Jackson (D)

No – Rep. Geitner (R), Rep. Landgraf (R), Rep. Liston (R),, Rep. Saine (R)

You can read the bill including the House amendments here https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-181

According to an email from Co-Sponsor Senator Mike Foote’s office, the bill will:

-“Change the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to prioritize health and safety over industry profits.  It removes the charge of ‘fostering’ oil and gas development and replaces it with the duty to ‘regulate’ it in a way that prioritizes health and safety.”

-“Removes two of the three oil and gas industry representatives to the COGCC and replaces them with a wildlife protection expert and a public health expert.” 

-“Allows local governments to treat oil and gas operations just like they do every other industry, including the ability to condition or deny permits.”

-“Requires an operator to inform and get a permit from a local government first rather than the current process of getting a permit from the COGCC and then ambushing the local jurisdiction.” 

– “Reforms forced pooling to require a majority of mineral interests to agree before others can be pooled and adds health and safety as a consideration in deciding whether to allow forced pooling.”  

-“Requires forthcoming rulemakings (under a new COGCC mission and leadership and new CDPHE leadership) to address air quality issues and bonding requirements.”

“Oil and Gas Reform Bill Debated Monday”  9 News.com 3/18/19