2011 Colorado legislation: HB 11-1172 killed in committee

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From the Associated Press (Kristen Wyatt) via Bloomberg:

The measure would have revived annual reports to the Colorado Legislature from the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission on the number of water-quality complaints it received. The measure also would have required state health authorities to report to lawmakers the results of a federal study due out this year on a gas extraction technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The sponsor of the reporting bill, Democratic Rep. Roger Wilson of Garfield County, argued that the additional reporting would send the message that Colorado officials take seriously the public’s concern over “fracking” and its possible effect on water quality…

However, the Republican-led [House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources] voted against the idea, 8-4. An industry official and Republican lawmakers pointed out that the information Wilson identified is going to be public already, so his proposal would simply add a layer of bureaucracy.

More coverage from Joe Hanel writing for The Durango Herald From the article:

The bill drew criticism from both defenders of the gas industry and its harshest critics. Republicans on the panel said they think fracking gets a bad reputation that it does not deserve. Wilson said his bill would have quelled public concerns. “That is exactly why I think this bill is important. Without the public having confidence that we’re looking at the scientific information that’s coming out, the public’s choice is to increase their suspicion and superstition about what’s going on,” Wilson said…

Environmentalists were split on the bill. The Colorado Environmental Coalition supported it, but the Earthworks Oil and Gas Accountability Project, based in Durango, opposed it. OGAP lawyer Alan Curtis said the group would like to see a detailed baseline study of water quality in order to be able to measure possible pollution from drilling. But he did not want to put the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in charge of the study, as Wilson’s bill did. “Our experience with the commission has been that their primary motivation is to see that there is as much oil and gas production in the state as can be done. And the water quality concerns are secondary,” Curtis said.

More 2011 Colorado legislation coverage here.

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