Colorado’s tougher approach to oil and gas moves into House; Democratic lawmakers weigh climate change push |

Colorado’s tougher approach to oil and gas moves into House; Democratic lawmakers weigh climate change push

SB 181 before three House committees this month

In this June 2016 photo, a drilling rig stands in Battlement Mesa. Currently there are no rigs operating in Battlement.
Post Independent file

State lawmakers’ attempt to re-focus Colorado’s regulation of the $10 billion fossil-fuel industry advanced Monday with scores of supporters and opponents packing a first committee hearing in the House on proposed oil and gas legislation.

Democratic lawmakers also are looking at a more aggressive approach to climate change with a bill to be introduced this week that would adopt the Paris climate agreement’s goals, possibly as mandates, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions — linked to global warming — as part of Colorado law.

“It is a shift. We’re not going to be promoting” oil and gas extraction, House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder, said of the oil and gas legislation. “But they (state regulators) are still going to be providing permits” for new drilling.

These efforts to reform how Colorado handles fossil fuels “are related” to efforts to step in, along with other states, where President Donald Trump has stepped out in fighting global warming, Becker said, calling climate change a critical issue.

More on this story from The Denver Post.

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