The Colorado state legislature is weighing a number of bills related to oil and natural gas drilling that have some industry association members worried.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) last week rallied its business and citizens coalition under the battle cry of more “regulatory certainty” in the state. COGA officials claim elected officials in the natural resource-rich state are creating potentially more uncertainty with some of the proposals being offered.
COGA sees some of the objectionable proposed laws covering a wide swatch of oil and gas regulation, but also touching on tax policy, land use/development and labor rules, all of which could add to “more regulatory uncertainty.”
The industry’s major concern is that only two of nearly a dozen bills have been brought to oil and gas representatives during the legislative process, said a COGA spokesperson, who said there are also “rumored bills” floating around the capitol.
Bills have been introduced to increase penalties for oil and gas operators (HB 1267); oil and gas mineral disclosure in real estate contracts (HB 1268); efforts to revamp the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC) and related regulatory reform (HB 1269); and changes in OGCC’s oil and gas facilities inspection requirements (SB 202).
COGA supports HB 1268, which is the product of a process that involved industry input. “By exempting regulations that cause production loss, this redefinition allows state and local governments to implement regulations without regard for loss to mineral rights owners or [added] cost to the industry, its employees or other stakeholders,” said COGA’s Doug Flanders.
But COGA contends that it was entirely bypassed prior to the introduction of HB 1267 and HB 1269. Those bills are problematic, as the industry maintains that increasing penalties on operators threatens the economic wellbeing of the state and its oil and gas workers. “Oil and gas regulations must work to both protect the environment and business climate,” COGA said.
COGA has designated HB 1269 as a “Wizard of Oz” measure because it threatens “a change to mineral rights in this state.”
Flanders told NGI that it would redefine waste to exclude reduced oil and gas production that results from compliance with government regulations. “By exempting regulations that cause production loss, this redefinition allows state and local governments to implement regulations without regard for loss to mineral rights owners or costs to industry, its employees or other stakeholders.”
Other portions of the bill that would change the OGCC’s mission are equally objectionable from COGA’s perspective.
OGCC would also be significantly expanded under the Senate measure, which COGA alleges would require every well site in the state to be inspected annually, requiring an additional 60 to 70 new inspectors and additional annual operating costs of $7 million. That may be too extreme, Flanders said.
“We think it’s important that any conversation about oil/gas [in any of the proposed bills] acknowledge how interdependent Coloradoans are with these resources,” Flanders said.
Â©Copyright 2013Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.
© 2021 Natural Gas Intelligence. All rights reserved.
ISSN © 1532-1231 | ISSN © 2577-9877 |