Colorado regulators said Thursday they will consider whether new rules are needed after 13 oil spills were blamed on last September’s flood, but some county officials said the leaks were comparatively small and that the existing rules worked.
Colorado’s powerful oil and gas industry took a hit Tuesday when voters in three Front Range cities voted to ban hydraulic fracturing despite intense industry lobbying against the bans.
As inspectors with the state of Colorado and the Environmental Protection Agency begin looking into oil spills that have resulted from the state’s historic flooding, some farmers and ranchers are viewing the state’s waterways that flows near their land with concern.
Oil and gas officials and state regulators say it’s unclear if flooded drilling sites around Colorado will result in any groundwater or soil contamination.
Colorado regulators grappling with a historic energy boom that’s pushing oil rigs to the very doorsteps of suburban schools and homes were among the first in the nation to require companies to disclose the chemicals they use in their new drilling techniques.
A final proposal for managing 4.2 million acres of roadless forest land in Colorado includes higher protection for 1.2 million of those acres, with even fewer exceptions for roads, power lines or other development, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told The Associated Press.
New technology is putting oil and gas drills closer to populated areas than ever before — creating tension in Colorado over who regulates where drilling can and can’t be done.