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Colorado Says NO to Local Control of Oil & Gas

by Elizabeth Alford on April 18, 2016

Colorado legislators strike down a bill to give more local control over oil and gas activity..

Related: Greeley Colorado Reverses Decision on Drilling

On April 4, 2016, the Colorado House of Representatives said no to House Bill 1355, which sought to give local governments the ability to exercise land use authority over oil and gas development within their jurisdiction.

Opponents of the bill were concerned with wording that might local governments to try and ban drilling under their authority to regulate noise, lighting, and traffic.

Rep. Mike Foote of Lafayette commented, “The current system works very, very well for the industry. It doesn’t work so well, though, if you’re in these neighborhoods, particularly along the Front Range, and you want to have a meaningful say in what happens.” 

Last year, Gov. John Hickenlooper formed an oil and gas task force to resolve land-use conflicts between communities. The group endorsed plans for more local input on large-scale drilling projects and proposed nine recommendations that are still tied up in the legislature.

The governor spoke out against the bill and encouraged legislators to wait for the nine recommendations to be made law and to see what decision the Colorado Supreme Court hands down concerning fracking regulations.

Over the last few years, there has been a growing concern from suburban residents as oil and gas drilling operations have moved into more populated areas.

In March, Greeley, Colorado overturned an earlier decision to deny drilling permits for 22 wells that were close to neighborhoods. The city’s planning commission had initially declined the drilling project based on public concerns such as the impact on air quality, excessive truck traffic and the proximity to schools in the area. But ultimately, the council voted in favor of an estimated 1,800 mineral rights owners to be able to develop their assets as they choose.

Read more about House Bill 1355 at www.leg.state.co.us

 

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