Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Must Continue to Prioritize Health and Environmental Protections

On January 14th, the Colorado Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that required the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to condition regulatory action on findings that such action would not have negative cumulative impacts on public health and the environment. 

“While this reversal is disappointing, it should not be interpreted to mean protection of public health and the environment must take a backseat to the economic interests of oil and gas companies and mineral owners. The court clearly ruled that the COGCC has a duty to prevent and mitigate adverse environmental impacts in order to protect public health, safety and welfare.

“The Commission must continue to use its discretion to prioritize the protection of Coloradans’ health and environment from the harmful impacts of oil and gas development in its regulatory decisions. As the statute requires, the Commission’s policies must be ‘consistent with the protection of public health, safety and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources.’

“EDF is grateful to the engaged and committed young people who initiated this legal action and so eloquently made their case to the Commission and to the courts. Addressing climate change is a generational challenge, and we commend these Coloradans for their bravery in embracing that challenge.”

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