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Colorado Petroleum Council: Adams County Natural Gas and Oil Code Revisions Exceed Scope of New State Law

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DENVER, September 3, 2019 – Lynn Granger, executive director of the Colorado Petroleum Council, provided the following statement in response to the Adams County Board of Commissioners’ adoption of new rules and regulations on the natural gas and oil industry.

"We appreciate Adams County’s consideration and removal of some of the more egregious standards that had originally been proposed, and look forward to continuing discussions in the weeks and months ahead. We do, however, have deep concerns with the code as approved today, and believe that many of the provisions contained within these new rules and regulations will significantly hinder future natural gas and oil development within the county.

“Senate Bill 181 granted local jurisdictions authority to regulate natural gas and oil development to an extent that is necessary and reasonable. Regrettably, many of the regulations of the code as adopted by Adams County today extend far beyond those which are necessary or reasonable. One of our primary concerns with Adams County’s new code is that it would regulate downhole activity, which is explicitly beyond the scope of the newly-minted state law. We similarly have significant concerns with the county’s proposed air emission standards, as they are already quite robust at the state level and fail to acknowledge the proactive steps that industry and state government continue to take on that front.

“More broadly, we oppose a number of the provisions which leave significant room for misinterpretation. As drafted, a number of the provisions leave more questions than answers, which in turn provides a great deal of uncertainty for operators in the county. These provisions are complex and worthy of much deeper analysis and stakeholder input.

“We are more than willing to work toward solutions that all parties can define and interpret uniformly. Unfortunately, today’s adoption of this new code falls short of the mark. We encourage the Adams County Board of Commissioners to reconsider the hasty adoption of this code, and would welcome the opportunity to continue discussions in an effort to achieve a mutually-agreeable outcome.”

The Colorado Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 600 members produce, process and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In our first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.