What's at Stake
After strong safety laws for oil and gas drilling were issued in Colorado, industry fought hard to undo them. Earthjustice defended the important rules and continues working to ensure they are strengthened.
In 2008, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission overhauled the state permitting process for oil and gas development in Colorado. Under the new regulations, public health, environmental and wildlife concerns for the first time became a central part of the permitting process.
Earthjustice represented the conservation community in the hotly-contested administrative proceedings, which lasted more than eight months. We advocated for regulations that opened the permitting process to the public and protected communities and the environment. We also worked to counter an intense campaign by the oil and gas industry to weaken the proposed rules.
After the rules were adopted in December 2008, we successfully beat back industry efforts to overturn them in the Colorado state legislature and in court. Colorado’s precedent-setting rules raised the bar for state oil and gas regulation and have served as a model for numerous other states and federal regulators in the years that followed.
Comienzo Prometedor Para Las Reglas De Contaminación Del Aire De Colorado, Pero Aún Queda Mucho Trabajo Por Hacer
Colorado is considering making changes to its air pollution regulations that would include raising the allowable threshold from two to twenty-five tons of emissions per year, loosening requirements for pollution reporting.
"We need to get numbers as to what the impact of the permitting change would be," said Earthjustice attorney Mike Freeman. "If we're trying to get control of emissions from the oil and gas sector, we don't want to undercut that effort by removing a whole bunch of sources from air permitting requirements."