Clarifying intentions of energy measure
I am writing to clarify some misrepresentations that have been published in the press regarding HB 1219, the Oil and Gas Surface Damages Compensation bill. The purpose of HB 1219 was to promote fair negotiation of surface-use agreements in advance of drilling activities. Current state regulations and policies do not give equal weight to the voices of surface property owners.Article II, Section 15 of the Colorado Constitution states, “Private property shall not be taken or damaged, for public or private use, without just compensation.” The decision by the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources committee to kill HB 1219, means hundreds more oil and gas wells will be drilled in Colorado without private landowners being given equal footing to negotiate surface-use agreements that provide compensation for damages to the surface.I recognize the rights and needs of mineral estate owners. The bill did not trample on these rights or attempt to drive energy production out of Colorado. The bill did not cause development of mineral resources to be delayed, in fact, the way the bill was written either party could opt out at any step along the way, and the industry could still gain access to the surface within the 30 day period that is currently required by state regulation. The bill was crafted by a diverse coalition, and no one interest group dominated the discussion.All members of the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources committee acknowledged that the significant energy development in Colorado has and will continue to impact surface property owners. Testimony on the bill was taken on Feb. 14 and 16, and for the six weeks following the hearings, representatives from the Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Realtors Association, Colorado Homebuilders Association, the environmental community, the Western Colorado Congress, and the oil and gas industry worked on improving the bill. A number of draft amendments were circulated during this time to the interested parties, including the committee members, but none of the amendments were acceptable to the majority of the committee. During the final meeting on the bill, which was held on Wednesday, March 30, I specifically asked the committee to amend the bill as they saw fit in order to craft an acceptable solution. No amendments were offered.I will continue to work on comprehensive legislation that provides meaningful protection for the rights of surface users. I want to thank all of the many folks that reached out to help craft a solution, I appreciate your support and hope that I can get the job done for you next year.Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, is the state representative from District 61, which covers part of Garfield County.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
PI Editorial: Let wildlife experts have say, but there may be value in keeping eagle buffer zone protections
Editor’s note: Managing Editor and Senior Reporter John Stroud did not participate in discussions for this editorial since he is the primary reporter on the story.