Colorado petroleum-industry group slams bill's federalizing of drilling authority

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The Colorado Petroleum Council (CPC) has voiced its opposition to recently passed natural gas and oil regulatory legislation in D.C., House Bill 1355, through a statement by CPC Executive Director Tracee Bentley.

The bill would take drilling authority out of the hands of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and require oil companies to seek the approval of the federal government to drill, even if the COGCC grants permission. 

Bentley said the bill ignores scientific experts, ultimately ends COGCC's oversight of Colorado oil developments, and stands to hinder job growth and create higher costs for state governments. She said the bill overall doesn't fit with Colorado's oil and natural gas industry.

“Operators have relied on statewide consistency of the COGCC’s rules,” Bentley said. “In addition to weakening scientific and safety expertise, this bill would force companies to contend with a patchwork of 64 different sets of county and countless municipal siting rules, which in turn could further shrink local energy development while driving jobs and investment out of Colorado.”

Bentley said the legislation undermines the trust that COGCC has built up in Colorado for years.

“For decades, oil and natural gas operators and the Colorado public have relied on the technical expertise and resources of the COGCC with respect to geology, hydrology, and human health and the environment," Bentley said. "The COGCC oversees participation and input from all stakeholders with expertise and interest in Colorado’s oil and natural gas resources."

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American Petroleum Institute

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