Colorado State Legislature


Colorado Legislature: Complete resources

Environmental Bills in Denver at a Glance

Contact Maggie at (970) 879-6252 to learn more about our CITIZENS' LOBBY TRIP TO DENVER and other ways to get involved with our legislative effort.

Legislative Updates: April 20

Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Reform
In what is considered a huge victory, House Bill 1341 (HB07-1341) passed both the House and the Senate and is on its way to the Governor. So now it is time to thank your elected officials. Thank Rep. Kathleen Curry and Sen. Jim Isgar for their leadership in sponsoring this bill. Thank Sen. Jack Taylor who spoke in favor of the bill on the Senate floor. Rep. Bernie Buescher has been a leader of oil and gas reform all session long. Thanks should also be sent to Sen. Josh Penry and Sen Gail Schwartz who also voted for this important bill which:

  • Revises the mission of the Oil & Conservation Commission (COGCC) to include more focus on "responsible and balanced" development and adds specific language regarding "protection of public health, safety and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources."
  • Gives the Department of Public Health & the Environment (CDPHE) a permanent role in reviewing and commenting on COGCC decisions that could affect public health.
  • Expands the COGCC to nine members (from seven) with expertise in: environment/wildlife (1), local government (1), agriculture/royalty owner (1), soil conservation or reclamation (1), and industry (3).
  • Requires Director of Dept of Natural Resources and CDPHE to sit on the COGCC.

Regulating Health Impacts from Oil & Gas Development
House Bill 1223 (HB07-1223) passed the House Ag Committee on March 7, but was later rolled into HB 1341 (see above) which is on its way to the Governor.

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Surface Landowner Protection
HB07-1252 The Colorado Landowners Protection Bill will require that: 1) oil and gas companies minimize their impact to the surface; 2) unreasonable use of the surface gives a landowner a cause of action (to bring a lawsuit); and 3) in any litigation, the burden of proof is on companies - not landowners - to demonstrate their reasonable use of the surface. The bill has passed both the House and the Senate and now awaits the Governor's signature.

Oil and Gas Impacts on Wildlife
HB07-1298 will require the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to minimize the negative impacts of oil & gas development on wildlife resources, consult with the Division of Wildlife on potential impacts and conduct a joint rulemaking with the Wildlife Commission. The House passed HB-1298 by unanimous vote on March 28 and passed Senate Agriculture Committee on April 19. Now scheduled for Appropriations and is expected to be heard by the Senate on April 30.

Doubling the Renewable Energy Standard HB07-1281
Legislation to double Colorado's renewable energy standard - the cornerstone to this year's clean energy agenda - passed through both the House and Senate and has been signed by Governor Owens!

HB07-1281 increases the renewable energy standard to 20% by the year 2020 and also includes several key provisions designed to encourage local communities to develop clean energy development projects.  

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Net Metering
HB07-1169 introduced by Rep. Solano (D-Brighton) increases net-metering limits for members of cooperative electric associations (CEA’s). Net metering is the lynchpin of small-scale renewable energy programs in Colorado. Without it, farmers, ranchers, schools, churches and homeowners are in effect extremely limited economically from investing in renewable energy for themselves.

HB07-1169 passed the House and Senate and has been sent to the Governor.

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Energy Conservation Building Codes: HB07-1146
Introduced by Rep. Claire Levy (D-13) and Sen. Ken Gordon (D-35), this bill has passed through the House, Senate and joint conference committee. All that is needed now is the signature of the Governor!

Our Legislative Priorities

  1. Give the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) the clear authority to regulate the public health and safety impacts from the oil and gas extraction industry.
  2. Require oil and gas operators to utilize the means of operation that will minimize adverse impacts to the use and value of the land.
  3. Require the oil and gas industry to use best management practices to protect wildlife resources.
  4. Double the Colorado's Renewable Energy Standard to 20% from renewable sources by the year 2015.
  5. Require electrical providers to allow customers to tie their solar panels or wind generators into the grid.
  6. Give the water courts the ability to consider the effects on water quality before granting a change of use to proposals affecting over 1,000 acre feet of water.
  7. Improve the auditing process for oil and gas severance taxes.
  8. Increase funding for the Water Quality Control Commission through permitting fees.

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Other Resources

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Gov. Bill Ritter (R)

West Slope Senate

(Also click on map for email.)
Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald
, 866-3342
(D-16) Grand & Summit Counties
Sen. Jim Isgar , 303-866-4884
(D-6) Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Dolores, Montezuma, LaPlata, San Juan & Archuleta Counties
Sen. Josh Penry, 303-866-3077
(R-7) Mesa County
Sen. Gail Schwartz, 303-866-4871
(D-5) Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale & Mineral Counties
Sen Jack Taylor (no email) ,866-5292
(R-8) Routt, Moffat, Garfield, Eagle & Rio Blanco Counties

West Slope House

(Also click on map for email.)
Rep. Bernie Buescher, 866-2583
(D-55) Mesa County
Rep. Kathleen Curry, 303-866-2945
(D-61) Gunnison, Hinsdale & Pitkin
Rep. Rafael Gallegos, 303-866-2916
(D-62) Mineral County
Rep. Dan Gibbs, 303-866-2952
(D-56) Eagle & Summit Counties
Rep. Steve King, 303-866-3068
(R-54) Mesa & Delta Counties
Rep. Ellen Roberts, 303-866-2914 (R-59) LaPlata, Archuleta & Montezuma Counties
Rep. Ray Rose, 303-866-2965
(R-58) Delta, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Dolores & Montezuma Cos.
Rep. Al White, 303-866-2949
(R-57) Routt, Moffat, Garfield & Rio Blanco
Western Colorado Congress is an alliance for community action empowering people
to protect and enhance their quality of life in western Colorado.

PO Box 1931, Grand Junction, CO 81502; phone (970) 256-7650; fax (970) 245-0686