AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition

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The Role of Citizens, the State and Local Governments When Oil and Gas Moves in Next Door


This is an invited paper presented by the Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The presentation will discuss, in general terms, the respective roles of state and local government agencies in Colorado to regulate the oil and gas industry. The presentation will also cover ways in which citizens can and have participated in the regulatory, policy and political processes. The presentation will address recent events in Colorado concerning the increase in oil and gas development along the Front Range, which has resulted largely from development and deployment of two technologies: horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The presentation will discuss varied ways in which different constituencies have responded to the increased oil and gas development, including efforts to preclude the activity outright; cooperative agreements between local governments and oil and gas operators; and collaboration between the state regulatory agency and local governments.