Comprehensive Oil and Gas Bill Passes Senate Appropriations Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

By a 6-4 vote, SB 19-181 passed in the Senate Appropriations Committee at about 9 am Friday morning and was referred next to the Senate Floor for a vote.  The vote to move the bill to the floor from Senate Appropriations was:

Yes- Sen. Rachel Zenzinger (D), Sen. Dominick Moreno (D), Sen. Mike Foote (D), Sen. Julie Gonzales (D), Sen. Robert Rodriguez (D), Sen. Nancy Todd (D)

No – Sen. Bob Gardner (R), Sen. Dennis Hisey (R), Sen. Bob Rankin(R), Sen. Rob Woodward (R)

Initially there was an attempt to delay the vote that failed 4 – 6.  There was no public testimony at this hearing. 

After Tuesday’s marathon public testimony and passage of SB 19-181 in the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee, the citizen testimony for the bill in the Finance Committee on Thursday was largely in favor of the bill and the committee vote was 4-3. 

You can read the text of the bill here

According to an email from 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.”