Opposition to oil and gas bill
I am a member of A3, a new coalition of citizens, business stakeholders and civic leaders representing Aurora, and Arapahoe and Adams Counties opposing Senate Bill 181, “Public Welfare Protections Regarding the Conduct of Oil and Gas Operations.”
As concerned citizens, our coalition believes this bill is full of problematic rules that will create an impossible regulatory framework for the oil and gas industry to work within. Here are our primary concerns:
This legislation is an attempt to ban any new oil and gas development. The bill calls for halting permitting for existing and new applications until all the proposed new rules are in effect, which could take several years.
There is no limit to how far local governments can go in restricting oil and gas activity, which allows for permanent de facto bans and taking away private property rights. Despite 55 percent of Arapahoe County voters turning down 2,500-foot setbacks last November, our local leaders could regulate this industry out of business and prevent Colorado property owners from developing their minerals.
Colorado already has the strictest oil and gas regulations in the country and the industry has participated in 15 bipartisan rulemakings over the past decade. Some are saying there hasn’t been progress in this area for 60 years, but that is a mischaracterization of the situation at best.
The oil and gas industry contribute jobs and other economic benefits that we all enjoy. Colorado operators pay millions annually in severance taxes, which supports school districts, counties, cities and water projects throughout the state.
This bill was quickly introduced and is being rushed through without proper stakeholder participation. It will be detrimental to Aurora, Arapahoe and Adam’s Counties, and all of Colorado.
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