"Keep it in the Ground" Movement Wages Battle at the State Level

In Colorado, Senate Bill 181 of 2019, a piece of legislation intended to increase local control and implement a moratoria on natural gas and oil projects in Colorado, was introduced and passed in the State Senate this month. This follows on the heels of Proposition 112, the proposition that would have mandated 2,500-foot statewide setback, and essentially ended oil and gas development in Colorado. Although the proposition was defeated on the November ballot, the Democratic lead state legislature looks to drastically reshape the state's oil and gas regulations in the current legislative session. Senate Bill 181  would update the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, giving localities the ability to institute stricter rules than the state, and pausing permitting until rules on health and safety go into effect (which could take months or years). This week, the controversial bill passed the House Finance Committee, the Bill will now head to the House Appropriations Committee before a full vote in the Colorado House. 

According to IPAA, Colorado isn't the only state that is facing challanges to its local energy industry. 
In Texas, Committee Substitute Senate Bill 421 (CSSB 421) was passed by the Committee on State Affairs despite language that invites an increase in litigation and delays against new pipeline projects in the state. If passed, this legislation could threaten the significant job growth and tax revenue these projects generate, and place the state in a similar situation as New England where pipeline obstruction has created massive economic harm.
In a recent release, IPAA indicated that these are only two state-level bills being proposed – there are many more, in many forms, shaping up across the country. Visit the Energy in Depth website for more information as these, and other bills, progress.


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