Denver, CO – Senate and House leadership, joined by Governor Polis and supporters, today announced oil and gas legislation that prioritizes the health and safety of Coloradans will soon be introduced in the General Assembly. The legislation, sponsored by Speaker KC Becker and Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, seeks to provide the most meaningful changes to oil and gas regulations Colorado has seen in more than 60 years.
The bill will not only provide peace of mind for Coloradans by clarifying that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s mission is to regulate, not foster, the industry, but will empower local communities to take control over what is happening in their backyards and equip them with the tools they need to stand up for their best interests.
“Coloradans simply do not have confidence that the laws in place are sufficient to protect their health and safety. They are right, and they are looking to their leaders for change,” said Majority Leader Fenberg. “For too long, the legislature has stood in the way of common sense reforms that would keep communities safe, and protect the Colorado we love.Today, we are announcing change.”
“Right now, oil and gas laws in Colorado tilt heavily toward the industry. We are going to correct that tilt so that health, safety, and environment are no longer ignored by state agencies,” said Speaker KC Becker. “This bill would also ensure that local governments have a greater ability to represent the interests of the people they serve.”
“The legislation we outlined today puts health and safety first and gives communities a meaningful seat at the table,” said Governor Jared Polis. “While we know this doesn’t solve all of the problems our communities face, it is a practical approach to finding a solution for many of our issues and providing more stability by updating our laws to reflect today’s realities.”
Erin Martinez, the survivor of a tragic gas explosion in Firestone that killed her brother and husband, urged for stronger regulation saying “the only way to make sure this never happens again is to learn from this tragedy and create safer regulations and guidelines that put human safety first.”
The full legislation will be introduced in the coming days.