Action Alert! State legislation to advocate for today!

By Ben Katz 4 weeks ago2 Comments

Every year, WSCC tracks statewide bills and works to organize our community around advocating for legislation that would improve the western slope of Colorado. It is important to follow and advocate for legislation at the state level, because it can have a lasting impact on our communities locally. This year, we have been tracking a number of bills we think will positively influence our landscapes. Sign our action alert below to send a letter to our legislators and ask them to support these important pieces of legislation.


Ask our State representatives to support pro-conservation legislation!

Ask our State representatives to support pro-conservation legislation!

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Check out the information below on the state bills we are advocating to get passed

State legislation bill number and titleThe IssueWhat this bill would do
HB22-1361: Oil And Gas ReportingIn January, 2020, the Office of the State Auditor released a severance taxes performance audit which found significant deficiencies in production reporting and enforcement structure resulting in a failure of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to collect as much as $308 million in penalties for violations.This bill would allow the COGCC, the Department of Revenue, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to each collect industry-wide and random-sample data for the 2023 calendar year, allowing them to hold the oil and gas industry accountable.
SB22-138: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions In ColoradoWhile the state has made some climate progress in sectors like electricity generation, transportation, and the oil and gas industry, we need to push ahead in the agriculture and carbon sequestration sector. This bill puts agriculture front and center in getting Colorado to achieve its statewide climate goals.This bill would expand opportunities for Colorado farmers and ranchers to pursue “agrivoltaics” — developments that combine solar energy generation and agricultural production — or participate in carbon-offset programs. It would also add additional statewide emissions reductions goals to our current statewide climate plan
HB22-1244: Public Protections From Toxic Air ContaminantsAir toxics are substances that are known to cause cancer or other serious health effects. While the US Environmental Protection Agency has set health-based air quality standards for a few pollutants (think ozone and particulate matter), the EPA has not set health-based air quality standards for air toxics.This bill would protect communities by setting up the new Colorado Air Toxics Program. It increases monitoring and reporting of toxic emissions to better understand exposure and public health risks throughout the state. Significantly, the bill also directs the state to set and enforce health-based ambient air quality standards for toxics of concern in Colorado.
SB22-151: Safe Crossings for Colorado Wildlife and MotoristsIn Colorado, nearly 4,000 wildlife vehicle collisions (WVC) are reported each year, though it’s estimated that a more accurate figure is 14,100, given the number of unrecorded collisions. These WVCs have tragic consequences, including hundreds of human injuries and some fatalities, as well as the death of thousands of animals on roadways in our state. The annual cost of these devastating accidents is approximately $80 million in property damages, emergency response costs, medical treatments, and other costs. This figure does not include the value of lost wildlife—likely $24 million—or the impact on the health of wildlife populations.This bill will create the Colorado Wildlife Safe Passages Fund to invest $25 million in measures to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and reconnect habitat fragmented by roads. This includes projects identified in Colorado Department of Transportation’s 10-year pipeline of 25 projects with wildlife infrastructure components, as well as projects identified by the Colorado Wildlife & Transportation Alliance, state agencies, and county or tribal governments. The fund would also provide a much-needed source of matching funds to leverage myriad federal grant opportunities available in the new infrastructure law.
SB22-198: Orphaned Oil And Gas Wells EnterpriseThere are nearly 20,000 low producing oil and gas wells across Colorado, many of which are on the precipice of being abandoned by their owners and left for taxpayers to clean-up. Operators have run these wells on the margins for decades, while damaging our environment and wildlife habitat and impacting the health and safety of communities. These wells account for an astonishing 40 percent of all the wells in the state of Colorado.Thankfully, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) adopted new rules to hold industry accountable for cleaning up their mess by closing decades old loopholes exploited by industry and making industry pay up once and for all. These new rules incentivize industry to plug these wells once and for all and require them to pay an annual sum to the COGCC that is projected to raise $10 million per year. Combined with an additional $10 million in federal funding, the COGCC will see a four-fold increase in their orphan well plugging budget in 2023. We are want to ensure the COGCC is resourced to spend these dollars effectively and efficiently. SB 22-198 creates the “Orphan Well Enterprise” within COGCC to do just that.
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2 Comments

  • Shane Smith says:

    We need these protections more than we need to extract more climate changing fuels. Colorado needs to be a leader on this.

  • Eugenie McGuire says:

    Thank you for your efforts to protect and enhance the western slope of Colorado. This year, there are a few statewide bills I would like you to support that would positively impact our landscapes. Those include:

    – SB22-138: Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions In Colorado. While the state has made some climate progress in sectors like electricity generation, transportation, and the oil and gas industry, we need to push ahead in the agriculture and carbon sequestration sector. This bill puts agriculture front and center in getting Colorado to achieve its statewide climate goals.
    – HB22-1244: Public Protections From Toxic Air Contaminants. Air quality is incredibly important to me and increasing the monitoring and reporting of toxic emissions to better understand exposure and public health risks throughout the state must be done to improve our well-being on the western slope.
    -HB22-1361: Oil And Gas Reporting. In January 2020, the Office of the State Auditor released a severance taxes performance audit which found significant deficiencies in production reporting and enforcement structure resulting in a failure of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to collect as much as $308 million in penalties for violations. We need to make sure that all reporting from the oil and gas industry is done properly, and that bad actors are held accountable for their actions.
    – SB22-151: Safe Crossings for Colorado Wildlife and Motorists. I care deeply for our wildlife on the western slope and want to make sure they have the space they need to travel across our roadways. I urge you to create the Colorado Wildlife Safe Passages Fund to invest $25 million in measures to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and reconnect habitats fragmented by roads.
    – SB22-198: Orphaned Oil And Gas Wells Enterprise. There are nearly 20,000 low-producing oil and gas wells across Colorado, many of which are on the precipice of being abandoned by their owners and left for taxpayers to clean up. Operators have run these wells on the margins for decades while damaging our environment and wildlife habitat and impacting the health and safety of communities. I want to ensure the COGCC is resourced to spend these dollars effectively and efficiently. SB 22-198 creates the “Orphan Well Enterprise” within COGCC to do just that.

    Thank you for being a champion for Colorado’s public lands and western slope.

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