By Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post – January 15, 2015
GREELEY — The movement of large-scale oil and gas operations into Front Range suburbs is creating pressures not being addressed by state rules, Colorado’s top oil and gas regulator said Thursday.
In testimony to the governor’s oil and gas task force, Matt Lepore, executive director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, said development of shale oil has transformed the industry in the state.
Multiple wells are being drilled from large sites, and collection facilities are also bigger and moving closer to developed areas.
“This is the crux for me,” Lepore said. “Scale, proximity, intensity.”
One solution, Lepore said, is “some kind of comprehensive planning process that brings in industry, COGCC, local government and the community.”
The oil and gas task force was created by Gov. John Hickenlooper in August as part of a compromise with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, that kept initiatives aimed at limiting drilling off the November ballot.
The 21-member task force has been meeting around the state. It will meet again Friday in Greeley then Feb. 2-3 and Feb. 23-24 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Its recommendations are due no later than Feb. 27.