Garfield County, the so-called “ground zero” of the late, great oil and gas boom, will be the scene of a rally in support of the more stringent drilling regulations currently being debated in the Statehouse in Denver.
Specifically, the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance is putting on a public social in favor of the new regs at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.
The new regs give greater protection to wildlife habitat and put more emphasis on public safety and air and water quality. They were recently adopted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after nearly two years of negotiations, but now require the approval of the state Legislature.
Some lawmakers, mostly Republicans, have attacked the meticulously crafted regulations as if they came out of nowhere and without any input from the oil and gas industry. They argue that in a down economy, now is not the time to put more regulation on the struggling sector, especially with oil and gas prices plummeting along with the stock market in recent months.
But other lawmakers, mostly Democrats, say the process for drafting the rules was fair and the price of oil and gas plunged due to the collapse of global markets and not the crafting of badly needed rules to protect the environment and residents of oil-and-gas hotspots around the state.