Ensuring Colorado has realistic, enforceable regulations for an industry that has significant economic impacts in the state was a major focus at this week’s public comment hearings hosted by the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).
At the hearing, elected leaders and residents of Weld County, Colorado urged the COGCC to adopt sensible regulations to protect public safety and keep the industry strong as the commission considers new rules governing flowlines – the pipelines that carry oil and gas from wells – a key issue after the state earlier this year passed SB 181 into law to overhaul oil and gas operations.
Weld County is the biggest producing county in Colorado and the strong turnout at the COGCC public comment hearings shows how vital the industry is to the local economy, how important operators take community and environmental issues, and the need for sound, reasonable regulations.
Here are some of the key highlights from the public comments:
John Gates, Mayor of Greeley:
“The oil and gas operators are aware of how their work impacts the environment and communities in which we live. They are cautious and thoughtful on where they drill and operate, and they are great stewards of the land. … Safety for our industry is a concern for all of us and the outcome of these hearings affect people across the state, my community, they affect my neighbors, my friends, my family members.”
Dan Woog, Erie Trustee and Weld County Business Owner:
“The oil and gas industry is the lifeblood to Weld County’s economy and contributes significantly to our state’s economy. It is not dirty. It is not evil. And neither are the thousands of Coloradans who work in this industry. Please do no be clouded by the negative noise. Let’s work together to get the real facts and allow our great state to thrive under this clean, efficient, and necessary energy source.”
Tonya Van Beber, Weld County Council Member:
“Any new rules should be done to address any gaps from rulemaking that occurred just last year. … But in my mind, regulation does not equal banning through overly-burdensome rules. I realize this is the wish of some people in here today. But it is not the view of the majority of Coloradans. We want to know our government is working for all of us and not just in service for a small minority with an extreme agenda.”
Cody Doane, Weld County resident:
“I just ask as you make the rules, you use common sense, data, and Colorado’s history. We have been doing this for over a hundred years. … Being in the industry, I want rules, tough standards, I want to make sure the company I’m working for, we’re being held to those highest standards, that we are protecting health, safety, environment, the welfare of the people.
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