(April 6) – A bill to increase the amount of information available to regulators and the public on accidents, spills and other events involving oil and gas operations won preliminary House approval this morning.
HB18-1157, sponsored by Majority Leader KC Becker, D-Boulder, and Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, puts consistent and specific requirements in place for oil and gas incident reporting and requires the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to make that information available and easily searchable by the public.
“Under current law oil and gas companies have no obligation to report the proximity of a spill or accident to the closest residence or the specific cause of the event or a description of the resulting damage,” Majority Leader Becker said, noting that the bill is modeled on legislation in effect in Utah. “If Utah can do this, Colorado can and should do this too.”
The state Department of Natural Resources, of which the COGCC is a part, supports HB18-1157. Rep. Singer asked the House to increase transparency around oil and gas reporting to reduce uncertainty around the looming changes that will follow the swearing-in of a new Colorado governor next year.
“We don’t know what the next COGCC is going to look like, we don’t know what the next DNR is going to look like,” he told the House. “Let’s lock in these modest changes now.”
After a recorded vote, the bill will go to the state Senate.