Oil and gas rallies planned for Tuesday as energy bill gets first hearing

DENVER -- Two rallies have been planned at the Colorado Capitol ahead of an expected controversial oil and gas hearing Tuesday.

The first will take place around noon on the west steps of the Capitol. This is being led by industry leaders.

Meanwhile, the second rally in support of the legislation will take place around 1 p.m.

The 2pm hearing will be the first for SB 181, which is backed by Democratic leadership to fundamentally reform oil and gas in Colorado. 

The bill will change the mission of the state's top regulatory agency, the COGCC, as well as give more power to regulate oil and gas to local governments.

Through the weekend, energy leaders called for a delay after claiming the legislation is being rushed through the General Assembly.

The bill's actual text did not go online until after 5 p.m. on Friday.

"That's not the way things are done. You introduce something, you have an opportunity then to look at it see if there are things that need fixed," State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican opponent of the bill, said.

Democrats pushed back.

"I don't think its especially unusual and I would like to add this is just the first hearing that we are going to have in the house and senate," State Senator Mike Foote, a Democratic supporter of the bill, said.

Colorado Rising, an anti-oil and gas group, announced Monday they will be neutral on the bill -- believing it does not go far enough.

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