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CPC applauds state Senate for voting down anti-energy bill that would compromise security and fiscal health of Colorado

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DENVER, March 7, 2018 – The Colorado Petroleum Council testified today before the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Committee in opposition to House Bill18-1071, legislation that would have slowed or even potentially halted energy development in Colorado and decreased revenue to the government. The bill was rejected by the Senate committee with bipartisan support.

“Democrats and Republicans in the state Senate were right to reject this destructive bill as it would circumvent our judicial system and erode the checks and balances that underpin our state’s democracy,” said Tracee Bentley, executive director of the Colorado Petroleum Council. “This bill also would have threatened the fiscal health of our state with substantial financial impacts, which are not reflected in the current fiscal note.

“Our state should not rewrite the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s mission at the request of out-of-state, out-of-touch activists, who hope to transform every permitting decision into protracted litigation, costing the state millions to defend administrative and judicial appeals, not to mention millions more in lost tax and royalty revenues due to permitting delays.” 

The bill, HB18-1071, erroneously states that the Court of Appeals decided “that oil and gas development is not balanced with the protection of public health, safety and welfare.” The 2-1 decision reached by the Court of Appeals is based on the premise that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) misinterpreted their statutory authority when rejecting a rulemaking petition that sought an indefinite moratorium on oil and natural gas activities in the state. The court clearly states it “does not address the merits of whether the commission should adopt the petitioners’ proposed rule.” The court decision is currently being appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court, an appeal that was unanimously approved by the COGCC, which is represented by the Colorado Attorney General. 

“Ultimately, the petitioners in this case hope to persuade the COGCC to ban oil and natural gas development in Colorado, in conflict with state law and policy,” said Bentley. “The state Senate saw through this ruse and rightly voted against this ill-conceived legislation. The state’s natural gas and oil industry embraces working with all stakeholders as we continue to use the highest standards and safety practices possible in providing Colorado and the rest of the country affordable and dependable energy produced here in Colorado.”

The Colorado Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.