Oil & Gas industry debate in Colorado
Recently debate regarding the oil and gas industry has had significant national and local attention in Colorado. The Hose & Rubber Supply Commerce City branch has a front-row seat as this drama is playing out.
Voters went to the polls last November to determine if regulation of gas and oil activities should be strengthened. The results of the vote on the proposition were described in a November 6, 2018 article from The Aspen Times which read, “Seeking to establish new setback restrictions between oil and gas operations and homes, Proposition 112 was shot down by Colorado voters on Tuesday as oil and gas facility statewide setbacks will remain 500 feet from residences.”
Undeterred, this past April the Colorado legislature passed a bill, described in a May 6th Denver Post article, “[April 16th] Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a sweeping bill giving cities and towns in Colorado new powers to regulate oil and gas drilling, communities sitting atop the state’s vast fossil fuel deposits are already looking at how to flex their newfound muscle.”
This muscle can be flexed in more than one way as presented in two excerpts from the Denver Post article. On the one hand, for those wishing further restrictions on oil and gas, some communities look forward to limiting oil and gas activity. “Matt Sura, an oil and gas attorney for a half dozen northern Front Range communities perched over the mineral-rich Denver-Julesburg basin, told elected leaders at a recent Brighton City Council study session that one of the most notable changes from SB 181 is the doing away of state pre-emption in matters of energy extraction. Said Sura, “Local governments’ hands have been tied for as long as we’ve been doing this work together…You couldn’t go beyond what the state required. And that made things difficult.”
On the other hand, communities who welcome the oil and gas industry are seeking to exercise this authority to support such activities. “…Weld County announced that it planned to formally designate itself an “oil and gas local-control county,” whereby it will “(take) control back from the state” to “maintain the working relationship we have had with the energy industry.” The article further stated, “Weld County is easily the top producer of oil and gas in Colorado, accounting for 89 percent of all crude oil production and one-third of all natural gas production in the state. Commissioner Mike Freeman said funding for schools, roads and other services in Weld County is heavily reliant on the tax proceeds remitted by oil and gas companies.”
Rather than having the State control the industry either by mandating restrictions or promoting the expansion of oil and gas activity, this law is giving power to local governments. Says Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, “Every community is going to have different needs and different ways of addressing oil and gas,” he said. “And this legislation allows Brighton to be Brighton, Commerce City to be Commerce City and Boulder to be Boulder.”
With these changes we’ll see how Hose & Rubber Supply can support communities wishing to participate in the oil and gas sector, as well as other communities who still need hose and fittings for diversified activities such as construction, road maintenance and manufacturing.