POLICY PRIORITY: Oil and Gas Development & Impact on Local Communities
CCAT urges strengthening state-level safeguards and standards related to oil and gas development to ensure public health, safety and welfare, and expand the authority of local governments to oversee oil and gas development in alignment with community needs and desires.
Oil and gas development is an intensive industrial activity that has resulted in recent accidents and deaths, and that can have significant impacts on the environment and climate, public health, property values, and quality of life. Conflicts and concerns have skyrocketed in recent years as the size, density and intensity of drilling proposals near homes, schools and waterways has grown.
- Affirm and expand the authority of counties and municipalities to regulate land use activities of the oil and gas industry, including through the use of zoning powers, and to clarify that state regulations in this arena are minimum standards that local governments can strengthen as needed to address local concerns, conditions and desires.
- Review Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) rules to ensure they adequately prioritize public health and safety. The Colorado Court of Appeals decision in Martinez v. COGCC ruled that COGCC’s statutory mission “mandates that the development of oil and gas in Colorado be regulated subject to the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources.”
- Require mapping of all oil and gas facilities, wells and pipelines, including existing, abandoned and orphaned infrastructure, and making that information available to state and local governments.
- Increase leak detection and repair requirements, especially for smaller oil and gas facilities to ensure better enforcement of public safety testing of existing plugged, and abandoned pipelines and other facilities.
- Reform the practice of forced pooling to significantly raise the percentage of participation required before forced pooling is allowed, require annual reporting on the magnitude of people and mineral rights impacted, and increase notification and response times.