Senate Bill 12-088 was killed (postponed indefinitely) in committee on Thursday February 16th, 2012. The bill, sponsored by Senator Ted Harvey – R representing Colorado State Senate District 30 which includes: Northern Douglas County (Roxborough Park, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker), if passed would have removed all regulatory authority from the local governments and counties on Oil and Gas development, and placed sole authority with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).
The bill faced overwhelming opposition with testimony being given by many local citizen groups (many opposed to drilling and fracking) and held support from only one group, the Colorado Petroleum Association.
The Colorado Senate Local Government Committee voted down the bill largely because it would hinder local governments from controlling and regulating aspects of the Oil and Gas industry. The committee expressed a strong desire for local control of all industrial development issues. The final vote was 4 against and 1 for the bill.
During testimony many groups and individual citizens relayed numerous incidents of lack of response by the COGCC to spills, lack of fencing, and other proper protection of drilliing and production sites already regulated and overseen by the COGCC. Many giving testimony proclaimed that the COGCC could not properly protect the public currently, and that to remove all local city and county oversight would give the public no recourse from which to seek protection.
Senator Harvey in his closing remarks even mentioned that perhaps the legislature should take up the matter with the COGCC about the apparent inadequate responses to public safety, and perhaps consider investigating what the COGCC needed in terms of funding to make it more effective in dealing with public health concerns.
Other oil and gas bills coming before the legislature are:
HB12-1164 – Require Disclosure Severed Mineral Estate
HB12-1173 – Protect Pub Health Oil & Gas Hydraulic Fracturing
HB12-1277 – Local Control Oil Gas Regulation
SB12-107 – Protect Water Oil Gas Operations Fracking