Pitkin County opposes change in makeup of oil and gas commission | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County opposes change in makeup of oil and gas commission

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Pitkin County commissioners agreed Tuesday to go on the record opposing a proposed change in the makeup of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

They agreed that Commissioner Rachel Richards, chairperson of the Board of County Commissioners, should sign a letter opposing legislation aimed at changing the state group’s membership so it is more weighted with gas and oil industry representatives, as it was before strict new drilling regulations were adopted in 2007.

“I think we should go on the record myself,” Richards said. “I think having a broad-based board was an accomplishment.”

Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop provided the draft of the letter that commissioners agreed to endorse and send to legislators.

The letter reads, in part: “…Pitkin County supports the notion that oil and gas development, while highly technical, requires expertise in a wide variety of fields, including public health, wildlife biology, and other natural resources. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission should reflect as much.”

House Bill 11-1223 – the legislation that Pitkin County is opposing – is sponsored by Rep. Ray Scott and Sen. Steve King, both Republicans from Grand Junction.

The expectation is that the bill doesn’t have enough support to pass in the state Senate, noted Commissioner Jack Hatfield.

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