A Safer Future for Colorado

This is a critical moment. Communities in crisis need consistent rules they can understand and trust, so they can plan for the future with confidence and support.

Since June 2019, the COGCC and AQCC have been required to revise their rules to make sure that impacted Coloradans are at the forefront when decisions are made that affect their families and communities.

Legislation passed in 2019 (Colorado Senate Bill 181) requires that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission regulate oil and gas to “protect public health, safety, welfare, the environment, and wildlife resources.” The COGCC and AQCC are in the process of revising its rules to reflect this, to ensure that, for the first time in over 66 years, oil and gas impacted Coloradans have a voice in the process.

This is a critical moment. Communities in crisis need consistent rules they can understand and trust, so they can plan for the future with confidence and support.

To truly reflect the will of the Legislature and the needs of Coloradans, COGCC regulators must:
  • Have and use the authority to deny and reject oil and gas proposals that jeopardize public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources;
  • Place conditions on drilling permits that incorporate community feedback and best practices to protect public health, safety, welfare and the environment;
  • Allow local governments to pass regulations that reflect the needs of their communities, but provide the assurance of a strong “floor” of safety requirements that oil and gas operators must meet, no matter where in the state they are operating. Every Coloradan has an equal right to health and safety;
  • Protect our safest and most vulnerable spaces by creating consistent, mandatory setback requirements for oil and gas development near homes, schools, and retirement communities;
  • Hold industry accountable through fines and fees on new and existing development, commensurate with their risks they pose to our public health, safety, and environment; and
  • Require that oil and gas operators post bonds large enough to ensure that Colorado taxpayers are not left on the hook for the costs of cleaning up abandoned wells, flowlines, and other infrastructure in the event of company bankruptcy.