Counties shouldn’t regulate fracking
November 12, 2011
I hope all county and municipal elected officials take note of the potential problems associated with implementing specific county-based hydraulic fracturing regulations.
As the Denver Post editorial from Nov. 6 so rightly stated: “They [counties] need to recognize that most concerns regarding hydraulic fracturing – which involves the injection of water, sand and trace chemicals under pressure into rock formations to release oil and gas – are best regulated by the state.” Of course, it is important for counties to be involved in the planning process, but the state of Colorado already has a time-tested system in place that gives operators and communities regulatory certainty that allows for efficient and environmentally sensitive exploration and development of our important energy resources.
In 2008, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) implemented a series of new rules for oil and gas development. These rules have been heralded as some of the strictest in the nation. Furthermore, rules for disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids were recently issued in a series of draft state regulations. We don’t need duplicative local government red tape holding up the development of clean, domestic natural gas.
The COGCC is well-equipped to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and has a strong track record of doing so. Creating additional county-specific hydraulic fracturing regulations won’t increase the amount of protection for our communities – it will merely create an environment that makes Colorado closed for business.
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Colorado state representative
chairman, Rocky Mountain Energy Forum