(April 8) – A bill to increase public confidence in the state’s regulation of oil and gas operators won preliminary House approval tonight.

HB13-1269, sponsored by Rep. Mike Foote (D-Lafayette), enhances accountability for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and increases its independence from the oil and gas industry that it regulates.

The bill rebalances the focus of the COGCC on public health, safety and welfare, and gets the commission out of the business of promoting the industry while regulating it.

During floor debate today it was amended to require commissioners to disclose their financial ties to the oil and gas industry they’re supposed to be regulating, and to tighten recusal rules in cases of conflict of interest. The amendments replaced language prohibiting new members of the commission from simultaneously being employed by an oil and gas operator.

“This bill goes a long way toward restoring trust in the system, because it’s not there now,” Rep. Foote told the House.

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