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Increased Drilling Fines Passes House Committee

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Increased Drilling Fines Passes House Committee

DENVER – Conservation organizations released the following statements regarding HB 1267, Raising fines for oil and gas drilling violations, sponsored by Rep. Mike Foote (D-Lafayette) and Senator Matt Jones (D-Louisville) which passed out of the House Transportation and Energy Committee today.


“It is time for oil and gas companies to take responsibility for the impacts they cause while drilling Colorado’s natural resources.  If drilling causes damage to air quality, water bodies or public health, the oil and gas industry should pay for the damage it has caused, just like the rest of Coloradans do when they violate the law Current fine and enforcement actions in Colorado are merely slaps on the wrist for multi-million dollar oil and gas companies and lag far behind other energy producing States, said Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith.

“Increasing maximum daily fines from $1,000 to $15,000 and establishing minimum fines of $5,000 for significant impacts to public health, safety and the environment will be a larger deterrent and better reflect the gravity and importance of causing damage to our environment and public health.”

In his prepared testimony, Bruce Baizel, Executive Director, Oil and Gas Accountability Project, stated:

“Compared to other major oil and gas producing states, Colorado’s fines for oil and gas violations are weak and as a consequence public health and the environment in Colorado are not being adequately protected.

Under this bill, setting the minimum fine at $5000 will begin to change both the perception that violations of regulations have no monetary consequence and how companies operate in Colorado.”

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