Holding Big Oil Accountable in Colorado

Today in Colorado, the legislature passed major legislation to hold Big Oil accountable and protect Colorado communities. SB 19-181 strengthens local control by allowing local oversight and enforcement of the oil and gas industry, while also strengthening limits on methane pollution. Additionally, the bill changes the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from promoting the industry to prioritizing health, safety and the environment. This legislation now heads to Governor Jared Polis’ desk, who is expected to sign the measure.

“Coloradans can breathe easier today knowing that our state is finally on track to put the health and safety of workers and residents, and our environment ahead of oil and gas industry profits,” said Kelly Nordini, executive director of Conservation Colorado. “Thank you to our leaders who heeded voters’ clear message and delivered these overdue reforms.”

Conservation Colorado worked with a coalition of advocates pushing for reforms of the oil and gas industry. Together, the coalition produced a TV ad, ran digital ads leading to a website called healthandsafetyfirst.com, and turned out Coloradans impacted by drilling to the state Capitol to share their stories.

With this historic victory on oil and gas regulation, our friends at Conservation Colorado and their allies are now prioritizing putting science-based limits on carbon pollution.

Under that plan the state would  reduce carbon emissions 90 percent by 2050 (including a critical interim goal of a 50 percent reduction by 2030) compared to 2005 levels. This legislation has its first committee hearing on Friday, April 5, and could be another significant win for Colorado communities, its air quality and our climate.

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