The Latest: Group says proposed rule would stifle oil, gas
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on an oil and gas proposal in Colorado (all times local):
An oil and gas group says a proposal to increase the minimum distance between new wells and buildings could eventually choke off production in Colorado’s biggest oilfield, but backers of the measure dispute that.
The Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners said Tuesday if the measure gets on the November ballot, and voters approve it, billions of dollars’ worth of oil and gas would be off-limits.
The group says that would expose state and local governments to huge compensation claims from the owners of those minerals.
The proposal would increase the minimum distance between new wells and occupied buildings to 2,500 feet (about 760 meters), from the current 500 feet (150 meters).
The royalty owners argue that means existing wells that are closer to buildings would have to be shut down if they need major maintenance.
Colorado Rising, the primary backer of the measure, says it would apply only to new wells, not existing ones.
An oil and gas advocacy group says Colorado has billions of dollars worth of petroleum still in the ground and warns that taxpayers could face huge compensation claims if voters ban drilling this fall.
The Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners said Tuesday its members could file claims under the “takings” clause in the U.S. Constitution if new rules keep them from collecting the value of their rights.
At least five oil and gas measures have been proposed for Colorado’s November ballot, but none appear to impose an outright drilling ban.
One would increase the minimum distance between new wells and occupied buildings to 2,500 feet (about 760 meters), from the current 500 feet (150 meters).
Supporters have until August to submit 98,500 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.