Delay on gas rules draws support

Chamber will back local legislator’s bill to stall new energy regulations

Grand Valley business leaders endorsed a plan Tuesday from Mesa County’s newest state lawmaker to delay the implementation of a series of new drilling regulations.

The governmental affairs committee of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce voted to support Senate Bill 4, calling for the moratorium, which has been criticized by industry officials.

State Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, and Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, are pushing the moratorium in an effort to prevent job loss as a result of the new rules from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

The bills, which have drawn fire from Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, set a series of restrictions on when, where and how drillers can access natural gas throughout the state.

Penry said even with the support of the chamber of commerce, Senate Bill 4 is unlikely “to see the light of day” because the governor and Democratic Legislature support the rules.

Gov. Bill Ritter drew fire for the rules during a stop Monday in Grand Junction. The governor, however, responded that the new rules were passed with the full support of the commission, including votes from representatives of the oil and gas industry.

Earlier in the day, Ritter told The Daily Sentinel’s editorial board that even if the Colorado Oil and Gas Association has attacked the new rules, many of the compromises contained in it were the result of meetings with energy companies.

Senate Bill 4 as well as the new rules will be up for legislative review later this year.


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