SB-181 is LAW!

April 17, 2019

Colorado, oil and gas drilling

Gov. Jared Polis hands the pen to Erin Martinez with her children Nathan, left from her, and Jaelynn, right, after signing SB-181 at the State Capitol yesterday. Erin’s home exploded killing her husband Mark Martinez and brother Joey Irwin two years ago today on April 17, 2017. [Photo credit: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post]


Thanks to the Herculean efforts of Colorado Rising (including all of you!) and activists across the state to raise awareness about the dangers of fossil fuel industry, Governor Polis signed SB19-181 into law on Tuesday. While this bill does not go far enough to protect Colorado’s environment and people, it is a sea change in how this industry will be controlled in the state.

Anne Lee Foster, Communications Director of Colorado Rising, said:  “While SB-181 does not address all of the concerns and threats associated with industrial fracking activity, it is a desperately needed tipping back of enormously unbalanced scales in favor of people and environment. SB-181 is the most substantial shift we have seen in decades and puts communities on much better footing when confronted with industrial oil and gas in their backyards.

“For decades, Colorado residents have pushed for common sense protections (Protect Act, Regulate Oil Gas Operations for Protect Public Safety bill, Operators Liable For Oil And Gas Operations bill, etc.) to prioritize health and safety that have died at the hands of an oil and gas controlled legislature.”

Unlike before, the state’s main focus will now be on protecting Coloradans and our environment from this abusive industry. Local governments will have some control about how to protect their residents. The state commission that oversees oil & gas extraction will now be revamped and forced to safeguard Colorado instead of the profits of industry.

Without the constant pressure and environmental advocacy applied by Colorado Rising, the oil and gas industry would still be operating in its usual haphazard and dangerous manner. Our success in getting Prop 112 on the ballot and securing 45% of the electorate despite being outspent at least 50-1 last year, forced lawmakers to reckon with this reckless industry and showed the world that Colorado’s citizens were not willing to accept any more bullying from this industry.

The upcoming rulemaking process will be critical. Colorado Rising will continue to stand with residents and ensure the state is living up to their new mandate of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of people and environment first. There is still much work to be done.

Colorado Rising is dedicated to protecting the future of our great state. They will continue their important statewide work through lawsuits, advocacy, legislation, ballot measures and other methods.

Take a minute to think about your contribution to this great accomplishment of passing SB19-181 and consider all the years that it took to get here. Your work, whether you called lawmakers, collected signatures, made a donation, attended a rally, everyone’s efforts combined together finally moved the needle in the right direction.

Pat yourself on the back and then gear up for the next phase!

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