Colorado toughened up its oil and gas rules. But how tough are they?

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Judith Kohler | Denver Post

When sponsors of a bill revamping Colorado’s oil and gas laws said the state’s regulations hadn’t changed much in decades, industry representatives were taken aback.

In a statement reminiscent of previous debates, Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said the state’s regulations are some of the strictest in the country and have been updated “dozens and dozens of times with bipartisan support.”

As state regulators write new oil and gas rules and update others to implement what one person called an “earthquake” of a law, Colorado’s regulations, and just how strong they are or should be, will get a hard look.

“Are there states like New York that ban fracking? Yeah, so that’s a stricter set of rules.Those are tougher than ours because they don’t allow for oil and gas development,” Haley said in a recent interview. “But of the major oil- and gas-producing states, I would argue that our rules across the board are more comprehensive than others.”

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