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News in Brief

Legislation addressing surface-use issues related to oil and gas development sailed through final approval in the Colorado House of Representatives in a 60-3 vote Thursday.The action means the measure now goes on for consideration in the Senate.The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, said she was surprised by the resounding vote in favor of the bill. But she expects the heavily amended bill is due for even more changes.”There’s no doubt in my mind that there will be work done on it in committee in the Senate,” she said.Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus, will carry the bill in the Senate.It seeks to encourage surface-use agreements between oil and gas developers and property owners. Currently, companies can skip an agreement and proceed with drilling by posting bonds as low as $2,000. Curry’s measure would raise the bond requirement to $15,000.The House had debated the bill Wednesday before providing tentative approval to it on a voice vote. Curry said she was the only lawmaker to talk about it Thursday, as she tried to clarify its legislative intent for courts, should its language become an issue in lawsuits.The bill calls for surface owners to be compensated based on current fair market value for disturbances related to energy development. But it also says land should be subject to reasonable use by oil and gas developers. Curry said there is some fear that the industry might use that to argue against having to provide fair compensation.She said she would like to amend the measure to address that language, but the industry adamantly opposed removing it. She expects the issue to be discussed in the Senate. The bill probably will be assigned to the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resource and Energy Committee.On Wednesday, state Rep. Mark Larson, R-Archuleta County, tried to amend Curry’s bill to adopt as law stricter noise rules associated with oil and gas development. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission recently adopted the new limits. Larson is concerned about the industry’s current attempt to have them revoked, which would be harder to do if they were a law rather than administrative rules. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

The nonprofit Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers will offer free, one-night parenting workshops each month throughout the school year.Each month’s workshop will explore a new topic. The March workshop is “Sibling Rivalry: Successful Strategies for Minimizing Conflicts and Restoring Your Peace of Mind.” It will be at the Basalt Middle School library March 14, at the Roaring Fork High School library March 15, and at the Glenwood Springs Elementary School library March 15.Charla Belinski and Sean Jeung conduct the classes from 6:30-8 p.m. Free child care is provided. Parents are welcome to bring a brown-bag dinner or snack.For more information, contact Nancy LaJoy at 384-5694 or nlajoy@rfsd.k12.co.us.


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