The State of Colorado is about to adopt new rules governing oil and gas development in the state.
The strangely named Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will soon change the state’s permitting process for oil and gas extraction. (If the Commission is supposed to conserve oil and gas, why is everything it does concerned with taking fuels out of the ground?)
But this is potentially a good thing. For the first time, regulations will require coordination of permitting with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, to address public health, environmental, and wildlife concerns.
A rulemaking hearing will be held later this month. On one side, Earthjustice is representing the conservation community. On the other, scores of lawyers from 13 firms are representing more than 50 groups from the oil and gas industry.
Usually hearings like this one last part of a day. But this time there are so many participants, it’s scheduled to last twelve days—and instead of in a courtroom, it will be held in the convention center.
I would never be so bold, as George W. Bush was, as to say, "Bring it on." But our attorneys have played David to industry Goliaths for so many years, you can guess who I’m betting on.