Gas-rules delay a sensible option

One of the questions that has accompanied the new state regulations for oil and gas drilling since they were first drafted is how Colorado’s regulations can be implemented on federal lands. After all, federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management have long imposed their own environmental regulations on activities such as drilling that occur on public lands.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission agreed to delay implementation of the new rules for two months on federal lands as the state works toward an agreement with the BLM.

The two agencies are trying to decide how to implement both state and federal rules when drilling applications are filed for federal lands, without creating duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy.

The state and BLM have had good working arrangements in the past, with the less-stringent rules the state operated under until April 1. There should be no reason that cannot be continued.

Delaying the rules a couple months to make sure that happens was a good decision.


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