2019 Conservation Scorecard

Oil and Gas

For years, industry profits—not public health—were regulators’ required top priority when it came to oil and gas development in Colorado. This year, the legislature fought for increased safety of our communities and the environment and to hold the industry accountable. The legislature passed sweeping and historic oil and gas reforms, ensuring that health and safety always come first.

Breaking the Logjam

Sometimes a single bill reshapes a policy landscape. Such is the case with the 2019 legislative session’s landmark oil and gas bill, Senate Bill 181, Colorado’s comprehensive oil and gas reforms.

Thanks to the visionary leadership of our pro-conservation trifecta, Colorado law now:

  • Refocuses the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to prioritize health, safety, and the environment over industry profits;
  • Empowers local governments to have a stronger say by clarifying basic powers such as zoning and noise limitations and allowing local oversight and enforcement of operations;
  • Addresses the growing climate, air, water, and wildlife impacts of oil and gas development across the state including increasing regulations for methane (a dangerous air pollutant that is a significant contributor to climate change); and,
  • Better protects property owners from forced pooling.

The bill’s provisions were nearly a decade in the making, comprised of the 22 bills that were defeated in recent years because of industry opposition.

This year, that all changed. Today, Coloradans can breathe easier knowing that our state is on track to put the health and safety of workers and residents, as well as protections for our environment, ahead of oil and gas industry profits.

Bills Tracked

Senate Bill 181 | Comprehensive Oil and Gas Reforms (Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations)

Year after year, Colorado’s oil and gas regulations fell behind the pace of development, leaving our communities and environment to suffer the consequences. These landmark reforms put the health and safety of workers, residents, and our environment ahead of oil and gas industry profits.

Sponsors: Senators Stephen Fenberg and Mike Foote, Representatives KC Becker and Yadira Caraveo

House Vote: Passed 36-28

Senate Vote: Passed 19-16

Signed by Governor: April 16, 2019

Pro-Environment Vote: Yes

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