In August of 2014, Governor John Hickenlooper announced the formation of an oil and gas task force to examine issues surrounding local control of oil and gas operations. Over the past 18 months, local elected officials, industry representatives, and environmental leaders came together to present nine recommendations for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to consider. Seven of the nine recommendations were unanimously approved, and the other two surpassed the necessary two-thirds majority. All but two of the recommendations became law or were enacted last year. The remaining two required additional rulemaking processes and were finalized early this year.
As an elected official in the City of Aurora I am encouraged by the results of the task force. In my opinion, the nine recommendations are a testament to the comprehensive and stringent regulations already in place in Colorado, and we have again proven that industry and state and local governments can collaborate to protect private property interests while keeping all of us safe. We can be proud that Colorado is leading the nation in oil and gas regulations to continue to ensure clean air and water.
What is especially important to all of us in Aurora is that these new rules help to ensure companies, citizens and local governments work together to find reasonable solutions to issues surrounding oil and gas development in our city. Additionally, City Council is in the final stages of formalizing its Oil and Gas Advisory Committee, which will advise Council on matters related to oil and gas development in Aurora. I look forward to working with the members of that committee.
Let’s give these compromises time to work. I am committed – and I believe the industry is too – to doing what is best for our citizens, our economy and our city.
The opinions expressed are my own and not the opinion of the Aurora City Council.