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COGCC Maps show absurdity of changing existing setback regulations

Reid Porter | | 202.682.8114

DENVER, May 27, 2016 – Colorado Petroleum Council Executive Director Tracee Bentley today said that detailed maps released by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) show that, if passed, Initiative #78 would effectively institute a statewide ban on oil and natural gas development, putting the state’s economy on a reckless path and ignoring the needs of Colorado families, economic opportunity, job creation, revenue to the government, and America’s need for energy security. 

“The COGCC maps prove this setback proposal is short-sighted and reckless,” said Bentley. “Robust regulations exist in the state for oil and natural gas development and to ensure environmental protection.” 

Current statewide setback regulations were created in 2013 through a COGCC-led stakeholder process consisting of meetings over several months and allow for the responsible development of oil and natural gas to exist at least 500 feet from homes and buildings. Initiative #78 seeks a minimum setback of 2,500 feet and, if enacted, the COGCC maps show that the entire landmass of Colorado would be off-limits to oil and natural gas production.

“Proposals like this seek to disregard the well thought out stakeholder process that Colorado is known for,” said Bentley, referring to the process used for existing regulations. “Colorado’s governor and COGCC regulators have worked hard to create a robust, frequently updated regulatory system – with enhanced opportunity for local participation – to ensure the environment and communities are well-protected. Interfering with this effective system would undermine a crucial source of income for both the state GDP and individual families.”

Even with the recent downturn, oil and natural gas development remains a crucial contributor to economic growth. Colorado received more than $1 billion dollars from oil and gas production royalties in 2014 alone, according to a study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business. In addition to the vast economic benefits of oil and natural gas production, greater availability of clean-burning natural gas has helped drive carbon emissions to near 20-year lows.

The Colorado Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 650 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. 

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