October 25, 2019

Senate Bill 19-181: Colorado enacts first-of-its-kind oil and gas legislation

Dale Ratliff

Proposed ballot measures and judicial opinions bring oil and gas regulation to the political forefront in Colorado

Colorado recently adopted legislation that will significantly change how the state regulates oil and gas development. This article explores the recently enacted legislation and its potential effects on the state regulatory system. But to start, a brief summary of how Colorado got here is important.

On May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued corollary opinions in City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil & Gas Association and City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil & Gas Association, holding that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act preempted local bans and moratoria on hydraulic fracturing.

On November 6, 2018, Colorado residents voted to defeat proposed ballot measure Proposition 112. Proposition 112 proposed to amend the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act to create a statutory 2,500-foot setback for oil and gas development from all occupied buildings and “vulnerable areas” and provide local governments with increased authority to adopt more restrictive setbacks than the state requirement.

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