A recent op-ed by Rep. Matt Gray and former Mayor Pat Quinn, appearing in the Denver Post, praised the City of Broomfield’s collaborative stakeholder process that took place over the past year regarding development within their city borders. The process reflected the intent of 2016 state regulations that are now just being put into effect, allowing for even great community coordination for new energy development. However, their simultaneous support for Question 301 raises eyebrows, as the initiative is an affront to that collaboration and a clear attempt to overrun the state’s legal authority.
Gray and Quinn also missed an important detail regarding the governor’s order to inspect flowlines. Yes, the state confirmed that 428 tests failed inspection. However, it is misguided to leave out the fact that number was out of 120,815 flowline pressure tests, which is a remarkable success rate of 99.65 percent. Gray and Quinn also failed to mention that out of the 428 failures identified, there were no leaks of any reportable size. These results are to be hailed as a validation of the effective safety standards practiced by Colorado oil and gas operators.
Colorado’s energy industry is highly regulated, including recent requirements around hydraulic fracturing disclosures, increases in the distance from buildings, water testing, stringent spill thresholds, methane emission reductions, leak detection and repair, Volatile Organic Compound emission reductions, a 15-fold increase in fines and penalty amounts, local government collaboration and planning requirements, urban mitigation requirements, and on and on. Plainly speaking, Colorado’s oil and gas industry makes a good argument for having the toughest regulations in the country – in a country with the toughest regulations in the world.
Question 301 plainly ignores the fact that Colorado’s oil and gas industry is doing it cleaner and better than anywhere, and we hope Broomfield citizens take note when casting their ballots.
Dan Haley, President & CEO, COGA