• Adams County commissioners voted Tuesday to end a six-week moratorium on applications for new oil-and-gas drilling permits, choosing instead to increase application fees and enhance the site-specific review process for such requests.

    The 3-2 vote re-opens one of the hottest areas for mineral extraction along Colorado’s Front Range and could set the stage for more conflicts between drilling companies and neighborhood leaders.

    AdCo gas & oil rig
    On the edge: A drilling rig east of Aurora on the former Lowry Bombing and Gunnery Range.

    Kathleen Lavine | Denver Business Journal

    “Our objective throughout this period was to develop a process that will address the land and surface issues and the concerns of our community members while not creating unreasonable obstructions for oil and gas development,” said Steve O’Dorisio, chairman of the county commission.

    Commissioners voted also to increase the administrative review process for any company operators who share a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the county.

    And they agreed to approve four pending MOUs submitted by Extraction Oil and Gas, PDC Energy, PetroShare Corp. and Synergy Resources Corp., according to a county statement.

    Drilling companies will have to pay new application fees for administrative use by special review application, and a task force will provide recommendations to commissioners regarding potential traffic impact fees.

    Dan Haley, Colorado Oil and Gas Association president and CEO, said he was not happy with the new rules.

    “After an unreasonably short public comment period, and despite already having perfectly workable oil and gas regulations and an MOU that was drafted from a lengthy stakeholder process, the county has decided to pass a slew of ambiguous and overreaching regulations,” Haley said. “This action is nothing more than their capitulation to a very small group of activists who want to see a vital industry driven out of Adams County.”
    The move comes as members of the Legislature debate whether to allow local governments more authority over zoning drilling sites.

    Ed Sealover covers government, health care, tourism, airlines, hospitality and restaurants for the Denver Business Journal and writes for the “Capitol Business” blog. Phone: 303-803-9229.



    Posted by Dana West @ 9:26 am for Adams County Politics, Climate Change, Energy |

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