Colorado regulators are making ready to approve sweeping new restrictions on oil and fuel firms on Monday. In the meantime, the businesses acquired an unintended glimpse this week of how their regulators maintain them in contempt.
For years state regulation required the Colorado Oil and Fuel Conservation Fee to strike a steadiness between vitality improvement and defending the setting and the general public. However Democrats tipped the scales towards oil and fuel final yr with Senate Invoice 181.
The brand new laws put in skilled regulators on the Colorado Oil and Fuel Conservation Fee whereas lowering the variety of vitality representatives. Below the brand new statute, the fee’s mission is not to “foster” vitality improvement however to “regulate” it to guard the setting, wildlife and public well being, security and welfare.
On Monday the regulators are anticipated to finalize new restrictions as a part of a broader overhaul of Colorado’s guidelines on vitality improvement. Most important is a proposal to limit new vitality improvement inside 2,000 ft of colleges, properties and different buildings, and one other that will impose setbacks close to waterways and wildlife. This might put tens of millions of acres of Colorado land off limits for fracking. The fee says oil and fuel firms may search waivers in some circumstances, however there’s no assure they’d be granted. Below the brand new regulatory regime, that will be left to regulators’ discretion.