colorado oil and gas association Archives - Colorado Politics
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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 14, 20186min219
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved rules Tuesday to help the public get a general idea where oil and gas pipelines are located. The nine-member panel unanimously approved the regulatory update after three days of testimony. Regulators have been working on the proposal for months, in the wake of a home explosion in […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 10, 20184min6640

House Republican Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock provided a statement Monday morning.

“All this misleading bill is designed to do is shut down the oil and gas industry in Colorado, and Republicans were not going to give the bill sponsor the satisfaction of grandstanding on this terrible policy.”

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Maybe Rep. Joe Salazar slid a fastball past House Republicans this week, or maybe they didn’t want to expend energy on a bill their Senate counterparts in the majority will inevitably squash. Either way,  House Bill 1071 to give local governments more regulatory say on oil and gas operations passed the Colorado House Friday.

The vote was 34-30, as Republicans picked up one Democrat, Rep. Dan Pabon of Denver, a pro-business moderate.

When the bill came up for a debate on Thursday, Salazar took all of four seconds.

“This is a technical change, I ask for a yes vote,” said the Democrat from Thornton, a man known for passionate oratory for his beliefs. Then he walked away from the podium.

A voice vote on the bill itself was called, and the Democratic majority shouted louder, presumably, before Republicans could mount any defense.

“I want to thank my friends on the other side of the aisle for recognizing the importance of protecting people and the environment by letting HB 1071 pass Second Reading without debate,” Salazar said to Colorado Politics via text message Friday night to help explain how such a hot bill passed in such a cool manner.

But, on a final, recorded vote Friday, there wasn’t any debate from Republicans, either.

Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, a trade group, took to Twitter to express his disappointment that the bill got out of the House.

“This bill would upset the important balance already struck in CO and reduce individual property rights protected by our state’s Constitution,” he said. “Plus, the state Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case this bill is based on. Preempting that is bad policymaking.”

A week earlier the bill underwent hours of testimony before passing the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee on a 7-6 party-line vote.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJanuary 3, 201817min685
News folk tend to develop an unusual skill: They can take heat while shedding light. Maybe that’s why the Colorado Oil & Gas Association hired Dan Haley a few years ago to be its president and CEO. The career journalist and esteemed former editorial page editor of the Denver Post doesn’t shy away from a dust-up, […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 7, 20175min309
Sen. Matt Jones of Louisville said Wednesday he plans to introduce a bill in the next session to give local governments more authority to “plan, zone, and refuse to allow oil and gas operations as they see fit — just as they do with every other industry.” Though Jones is the Senate Democrats’ appointed leader […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchSeptember 7, 20174min169
Oil and natural gas companies that do business in Colorado are investing in a lot more then drilling, pumping, support services and politics. Members of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association have donated about $10 million, and climbing, to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. “Houston, in many […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirAugust 29, 20174min3060
Chris Hansen

Colorado’s Front Range stands at the brink of being bumped from “moderate” to “serious” nonattainment of the 75 parts per billion ozone standard issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2008.

If Metro Denver and the northern Front Range do not meet the standard this summer, the bump-up to “serious” nonattainment could have significant impacts not only on our health but also on our economy. Imagine the disruption if air quality regulators had to take steps to control more sources of emissions, with rigorous reporting and monitoring requirements. Not only would Colorado be a less attractive place to live, it would quickly become a less attractive place to do business.

Only a third of Colorado’s ozone precursor emissions are produced by Coloradans. The rest comes from naturally occurring background sources, other states and even other countries.

Cole Wist

But we are confident that by working together across all fronts, Colorado can take the action needed to address this situation and reduce our local footprint while still protecting our economy and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Our major industries and companies have made significant strides to reduce their emissions, and they are committing to future action. Now it is important that we as individual citizens do our part.

We urge you to check out the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s “Clear the Air” program at coga.org/ozone/ and the Regional Air Quality Council’s “Simple Steps, Better Air” campaign at raqc.org/our_programs/ozone_aware/ to learn more about what we can all do to help get Colorado into compliance and moving toward cleaner air. Some steps are as easy as signing up to receive notifications on ozone alert days so you know when not to mow your lawn.

Thank you to the RAQC and to COGA for encouraging us to do our share and for making it easy to know what steps to take.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 22, 20174min1630

While ozone levels are falling in north metro Denver, both sides of the oil-and-gas development debate are taking a deep breath to explain why.

State regulators report that emissions of volatile organic compounds, a key ingredient in ground-level ozone, have fallen by one-half in metro Denver and the northern Front Range, the battlefield over fracking.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry group, reports that meanwhile production statewide quadrupled during the six-year period.

The industry, its association said, has reduced emissions and mitigated effects “as part of its ongoing commitment to being good stewards of our natural resources and protecting the environment.”

The falling numbers prove regulations are working and more can be done, said Dan Grossman, the Environmental Defense Fund’s Rocky Mountain regional director and senior director of EDF’s state programs on oil and gas.

“Colorado’s oil and gas industry is responsible for the emission of hundreds of thousands of tons of ozone-precursor VOCs and climate-disrupting methane each year,” he told Colorado Politics. “And as the state looks to comply with the more stringent 2015 ozone standard of 70 ppb, and to continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.

Grossman added, “Simple, cost-effective measures (such as increased inspection requirements for smaller wells and replacing leaky pneumatic devices with more efficient ones) are readily available to industry to further reduce pollution from the state’s oil and gas facilities. It is past time to implement them.”

Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said the reductions can be attributed to “technological innovation, regulatory initiatives currently on the books and leadership from our industry.”

COGA pointed out that the West’s “background” ozone levels, those that occur naturally without a human-related cause, are the highest in the United States.

“Consequently, addressing ozone related challenges in Colorado is an extremely difficult, economy-wide undertaking, as only 20 to 30 percent of the emissions needed to form ozone in the non-attainment area are actually produced by Colorado-based human activity,” COGA said in a statement. “These activities include but are not limited to cars, boats, planes, tractors, as well as industrial plants, lawn and garden equipment, and even household products like paints, solvents, and hair spray.”

The announcement was part of the industry’s “Clear the Air: The Facts on CEO” campaign. The CEO stands for climate, energy and ozone.

The industry has invested heavily in research and public outreach to convince Coloradans not to impose new rules that could drive the business out of the state.

“This summer’s ozone season is not over yet, and there is a lot Coloradans can do to mitigate ground-level ozone and reduce the number of ozone-exceedance days,” Haley said in a satement. “COGA will continue sharing the facts and working with members of industry to support ongoing efforts to reduce emissions in the nonattainment area.”


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Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 7, 201720min259
A Colorado-sized political fight is collecting heat just below the surface of a non-election year summer. In next year’s governor’s race, money could be spent like it’s never been spent before if the flash point issue is energy. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis is a candidate striking matches. The best-known (and likely to be the best-financed) […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJuly 24, 20174min1970

Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy CommitteeLiberal journalist extraordinaire David Sirota did what he told Colorado Politics he would do back in May. He got his eyeballs on Colorado Senate Republicans’ e-mails from a period when a bill to move oil and gas wells farther from schools was pending in the legislature.

You can bet Dave would raise a left-slanted eyeball. He published his findings Friday in the International Business Times.

But he didn’t find any bombshells. Just both sides pleading their case.

From the article:

While the emails, which were obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests filed by IBT, show no sign of illegal activity or quid pro quo dealings between lobbyists and lawmakers, they do reveal the asymmetrical war fought between the fossil fuel lobby and ordinary citizens who work and live near their facilities, many of whom wrote their representatives to assert that they weren’t anti-fracking, but simply worried about their own or their children’s health. Some pleaded with their representatives for help, only to receive a form letter, or nothing at all.

He cites an example letter from a Greeley school teacher to Sen. John Cooke, a Republican from Greeley who is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee. The committee killed Democratic Rep. Mike Foote’s House Bill 1256 on a party-line vote on April 12. The teacher wrote she was begging for Cooke’s support.

“We should not be risking the health and safety of children without an attempt to at least provide the minimum of support of a 1000 foot setback from where they are playing and breathing. Protecting the health and safety of children should not be a partisan issue — we all care about protecting the most vulnerable, and as a former Weld County Sheriff, I’m sure you understand.”

Sirota also found an e-mail to Cooke from Brent Backes, an executive with DCP Midstream, a petroleum services company based in Denver, as well as an executive board member of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

“DCP has a lot of new development activity in Weld County that I would like to make sure you are aware of as well as having a general discussion of the issues facing our industry,” Backes wrote. “I would be happy to come to the Capitol as our headquarters are located just a few blocks away.”

Sirota found that Cooke RSVP’d to a COGA seminar later, but it’s hard to say if Cooke responded to the e-mails, Sirota wrote.

In the scheme of things, that’s not unusual. Legislators from both parties attend all kinds of events put on by special-interests groups, from industry to philanthropy. Associations associate with policymakers because that’s how the public sausage is ground. Legislators say they learn about the issues from the “stakeholders,” even if you prefer to call that influence.

Editor’s note: This story corrected that Sen. John Cooke is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, not the chairman. The chair is Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling.