The Colorado Senate recently passed a bill, SB15-093, which would provide compensation to mineral owners for regulatory impairments. In other words, if a local government, such as a municipality or county, enacts any type of ordinance that would prevent mineral extraction, that governmental entity could be responsible for compensating the mineral owner(s). While this proposal contains protections for mineral owners, it contains no protections for the health, safety, welfare and property values of so many citizens, including adjacent property owners. In fact, in a sense, it takes away one of the avenues that residents have to protect neighborhoods against encroachment by oil and gas development.
As of March 2, the COGCC reports there are 52,288 active oil & gas wells in Colorado. Of those, 22, 199 are located in Weld County and 10,959 in Garfield County. That is evidence of regulatory failure in our state and SB15-093 only contributes to that failure.
This bill has now moved to the Colorado House of Representatives for a vote. While there is some speculation that it will not pass in the House, it should not be left to chance. If you are concerned about protection of your rights, contact your Representative and make your voice heard. This can be done with a short email. No lengthy message is required, just a note that as a constituent and citizen you are concerned that it doesn’t protect your rights and request that they vote against SB15-093. Feel free to use your own words.
Many residents in Northern Colorado live in District 49 which is represented by Perry Buck, who is expected to support this legislation because she has sponsored a similar bill in the past. But it is still important that she hear from her constituents.
Click here to find your Representative.
Or you can email each member of the House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee — the committee that will first review the bill. Committee members’ names and email addresses:
Perry Buck: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Foote: email@example.com
Steve Humphrey: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Lontine: email@example.com
Patrick Neville: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dianne Primavera: email@example.com
Su Ryden: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Salazar: email@example.com
Jack Tate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Thurlow: email@example.com
Max Tyler: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yeulin Willett: email@example.com
Again, it is important that our elected officials entrusted with the rights of all Coloradans know their constituents’ opinions.