Court reverses health, safety and environmental rules for oil and gas operations 

New legislation might be on the horizon after a Jan. 14 Colorado Supreme Court decision reversed a state Court of Appeals judgment. The Supreme Court ruled the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) isn't bound to consider the protection of health, safety and the environment in approving oil and gas operations.

The 2013 case, Martinez vs. COGCC, arose after the COGCC denied a rulemaking petition filed by six children that asked that fracking permits be suspended pending a finding they wouldn't adversely impact human health and safety, the environment and wildlife.

House Speaker KC Becker vowed to propose legislation this year in the Democrat-controlled House to prioritize health and safety. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, a fierce renewable energy advocate, said the ruling points to the need to "more safely develop our state's natural resources and protect our citizens from harm."

The ruling was, unsurprisingly, embraced by the Colorado Petroleum Council.


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