Oil and Gas Update: Tit for Tat

Below are excerpts from Western Slope newspapers about recent oil and gas activities and the political wrangling that sometimes surrounds this industry. Supreme Court: Locals Have Some Control Over Oil and Gas Activities
Colorado county commissioners do have the right to regulate oil and gas operations, according to a recent state Supreme Court decision. The ruling identified eight areas where local government could create regulations that would not conflict with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission oversight: water quality, soil erosion, wildlife and vegetation, livestock, geologic hazards, cultural and historic resources, wildfire protection, recreation and permit duration.

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld an appellate court decision in a Gunnison County case that supported counties enacting their own oil and gas regulations as long as they didn’t conflict with state rules. The case revolved around Gunnison County’s rules governing land use issues relating to oil and gas development. The court case stemmed from a lawsuit by Gunnison County against the Gunnison Energy Corp. for failing to apply for a county oil and gas permit.

Commissioners from Garfield County which has seen the most active oil and gas development on the Western Slope, had mixed reactions according to the Post Independent:

“We can (already regulate) water quality, roads and storm-water management. I don’t know of any other particular areas that would need regulation that aren’t already regulated,” said Garfield County Commissioner Larry McCown, a Republican. “It would just make it more restrictive to drill a well and doesn’t achieve anything.”

Commissioner Tr

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