Colorado Supreme Court reverses oil and gas ruling that called for more consideration of public health, environmental impacts
The Denver Post
DENVER — In a win for the oil and gas industry, the Colorado Supreme Court on Monday reversed a lower court ruling that said the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission should give more weight to the public health, safety and the environment when considering new drilling.
However, the win could turn out to be a lull before the next political face-off that has become more common as drilling has ramped up in the state’s more populous areas. As industry representatives welcomed the court’s decision, saying it upholds the law’s recognition of multiple interests, legislators and Gov. Jared Polis said the ruling highlights the need for changes to better protect the public.
“The bottom line is we need to make sure that health and safety are a priority and reform of the (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) is a beginning,” said Sen. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette. “We are working on a bill to make sure health and safety are prioritized.”
Last week, newly inaugurated Gov. Jared Polis said in his first State of the State address that he would work to give communities more say in how oil and natural gas are developed. Polis has set a goal of moving Colorado’s electric grid to entirely renewable sources by 2040, although he concedes it’s more of an aspirational goal.
“While I’m disappointed by today’s ruling, it only highlights the need to work with the legislature and the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission to more safely develop our state’s natural resources and protect our citizens from harm,” Polis said in a statement.
Read more at DenverPost.com.
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