A bill that would make oil and gas companies liable for damage caused by earthquakes, and raised concerns in the Governor’s office, passed the Colorado House of Representatives on Friday on a party line vote.
The vote was 33 in favor, 31 opposed. The bill now goes to the Senate, where observers say its chances of passage are slim.
HB16 1310, sponsored by Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, would allow homeowners to seek compensation for damage to individuals, their homes or other property caused by oil and gas drilling. The Senate sponsor is Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora.
“This bill holds oil and gas to the same standards as other industries in Colorado,” Salazar said in a statement after the vote Friday.
“We’re trying to give Colorado homeowners the tools to protect their health, safety and property rights.”
“First, the department hasn’t seen widespread problems with property damage caused by seismicity in Colorado, generally, and we haven’t seen widespread seismicity caused by oil and gas operations,” Green said.