Two initiatives to temper the impacts of oil and gas drilling in Colorado — requiring a 1,000-foot setback from homes and limiting the use of open fluid pits — were rejected Monday by a legislative committee.
The setback bill and the bill requiring “closed-loop” tank systems in place of open pits both went down on 3-7 votes.
Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, sponsor of the setback bill, told the House Local Government Committee that the proposal was “in response to a serious situation” — the prospect of heavy oil and gas development near suburban areas.
Ryden also cited a “lack of action by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.”
But Robert Randall, deputy director of the state Department of Natural Resources, said the commission was about to start a “stakeholder process” to address the issue.
The bill also was opposed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the Colorado Petroleum Association, both trade groups, as well as the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry.
“This is a job-killing bill,” said Rep. David Balmer, R-Centential, a committee member.