DENVER — On Friday morning, the Colorado House passed a controversial bill that aims to reform the state’s oil and gas industry.
The bill would make public safety the top priority of state regulators and give local governments authority over the location of new wells. Currently, production is the primary goal, and the state determines well locations.
The Senate passed the bill earlier this month, but it must go back to the Senate to consider the amendments made by the House. The bill, supported by Gov. Jared Polis, is expected to pass. Democrat supporters control both legislative chambers.
Republicans fought ferociously against the bill, which was rushed through the Senate by Democrats.
They argue it will eliminate jobs, hurt rural economies and deter investment in Colorado’s multibillion-dollar oil and gas industry.
Supporters say wells are being drilled too close to neighborhoods and environmentally sensitive areas.