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Lawmaker seeks to make oil and gas companies liable for mistakes

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DENVER -- Perhaps you know someone like Stacy Lambright. She loves where she lives in Adams County, but she does not love seeing so many drilling sites in her neighborhood.

“You know, this really is a topic that keeps me up at night,” Lambright said.

“My concern is for the health and safety of my children,” Lambright added.

Her concern is why she invited State Representative Joe Salazar to her home on Saturday to discuss his bill, HB 16-1310.

Salazar’s measure ensures that oil and gas companies are liable for damages should drilling result in leaks, explosions, or earthquakes.

“What this bill says is if as a result of your activities you cause an earthquake you are responsible for any harm that comes to an individual or their property,” Salazar told FOX31 political reporter Joe St. George.

As you might suspect the Colorado Oil and Gas Association is against the measure. Spokesman Doug Flanders issued the following statement:

"We understand this is the silly season of election year bills and that oil and gas will be used by some politicians in Adams County as a wedge issue for their re-election.  Unfortunately, there seems to be little concern that their strategy is threatening the livelihood of hard working families in Adams County and across the state who provide heat and affordable energy for their friends and neighbors.

"This bill is more about dividing people and needlessly worrying them just to scare up a few votes.   We are confident that mainstream, pro job, pro working family Democrats and Republicans will be quick to oppose this unnecessary legislation."

The bill is slated for debate in committee on Thursday.