February 19, 2020

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Colorado Senate Bill 181 Signed by Governor Polis

Governor Polis signed the highly controversial S.B. 181 into law on April 16, 2019. 

Why is this important to you? S.B. 181, also known as “Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations” has been referred to as “landmark legislation” and an “energy overhaul bill” – simply put, the sweeping oil and gas reform legislation increases oil and gas regulation in the State of Colorado, revamps the make-up of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) and shifts the COGCC’s mission from “fostering” the growth of the oil and gas sector to “regulating” it and prioritizing the protection of public safety, health, welfare, and the environment in the regulation of the oil and gas industry. 

This legislation has been strongly opposed by the energy industry for a number of reasons. It is the most comprehensive overhaul of how the oil and gas industry is regulated in the State of Colorado to date, and many feel that industry representatives were not adequately consulted, and that the legislation was rushed through without proper discourse. 

The key amendments reflected in the bill’s final form include:

  1. More regulatory power to local governments

  2. More direction in enacting new emissions rules

  3. Restructuring of the COGCC

  4. Adjustment to consent percentages in pooling applications

Click here for the full text of S.B. 181. Ballot initiatives are already in the works to attempt to reverse and repeal these controversial new regulations. The full impacts of this legislation on the oil and gas sector are unknown – what we do know is that operations in Colorado will certainly be more expensive and unpredictable, especially as new regulations get rolled out of the COGCC.  

Click here for a full analysis of S.B. 181 

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About this Author

Melissa J. Lyon litigation attorney Steptoe-Johnson
Of Counsel

Melissa Lyon is a skilled litigator and transactional attorney with a particular focus on the needs of clients in the energy and natural resources sector.

Staying true to her country-law roots, Melissa is distinguished by her work ethic, leadership, and her charisma, and she is consistently recognized by clients for her dedication to achieving successful resolutions.

In addition to assisting clients by preparing master service agreements and contracts concerning development, production, marketing, and transportation of crude oil and natural gas, she is an...

(303) 389-4361
James Tartaglia, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm, Energy and Resources Attorney

Jim Tartaglia concentrates his practice in the area of energy and natural resources law.  Mr. Tartaglia regularly assists clients with a variety of their transactional needs, including due diligence, corporate and securities matters, and oil and gas lending.