Companies: New oil, gas air rules right for state

Representatives from two of the energy companies that helped draft a groundbreaking new oil and gas air pollution proposal in Colorado said Thursday that it represents a center-ground, appropriate approach for the state.

“It’s right for the state of Colorado, it’s right for the health of our communities and it’s right for our business,” said Curtis Rueter, liquid and compressed natural gas development manager for Noble Energy, in a news conference.

Robin Olsen, a spokeswoman for Anadarko Petroleum, called the proposed rules “really in the best interest of all Coloradans as well as oil and gas companies here in Colorado,” and said they are model rules that would provide accountability.

Noble, Anadarko and Encana worked with the Environmental Defense Fund and the state in drawing up a proposal announced by Gov. John Hickenlooper in November. It would make Colorado the first state to specifically try to reduce methane, a greenhouse gas, in oil and gas operations. The state Air Quality Control Commission is to consider the proposal next week.

The Colorado Oil & Gas Association and Colorado Petroleum Association objects to aspects of the proposal including its compliance costs, as do Garfield, Mesa, Rio Blanco, Moffat and Montezuma counties. The counties also oppose the imposition of statewide measures when Colorado’s ozone pollution problem is limited largely to the Front Range. But some citizen groups say the rules not only should cover the whole state but should be strengthened for facilities within a quarter-mile of homes.

Rueter said he thinks the proposal “does represent a broad center.”


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