Media Releases

Fracking task force failure sets stage for battle over local control

February 27, 2015 • Earthworks

"Colorado Governor Hickenlooper’s task force was formed only because hundreds of thousands of Coloradans are outraged that communities cannot protect their homes or control fracking and oil and gas development within their boundaries. Because the task force’s recommendations don’t address these two issues, it must be judged a failure. And now we will see what hundreds of thousands outraged Coloradans will accomplish."

Media Releases

Increase in COGCC Penalties are a Step in the Right Direction

January 6, 2015 • Earthworks

“The increased penalties finalized by the COGCC are a significant step in the right direction.  Because of these new rules, Coloradans can hope that when oil and gas companies are caught violating the law, they’ll actually be punished. And hope that the punishment will be consistent and significant enough to deter other potential violators.

Media Releases

Conservation Groups Call on Oil and Gas Commission to Strengthen Proposed Rules

December 15, 2014 • Earthworks et. al.

DENVER, CO -- Today Conservation Colorado, Earthworks, Sierra Club and Western Resource Advocates called on the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to strengthen their staff’s proposed rules to implement HB 1356, bipartisan legislation Governor Hickenlooper signed into law in May to increase Colorado’s oil and gas fines and penalties for the first time in several decades. The COGCC considers finalizing the rules today and tomorrow. 


Rebuttal Statement of Colorado Environmental Coalition: statewide water sampling and monitoring

January 4, 2013 • EARTHWORKS et al

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Rebuttal Statement of Colorado Environmental Coalition et al

January 4, 2013 • EARTHWORKS et al

Enforcement Report – Colorado COGCC

March 21, 2012 • Lisa Sumi

Inadequate enforcement means current Colorado oil and gas development is irresponsible

Media Releases

New report shows COGCC fails to enforce its own rules: 516 spills in 2011, only 5 fines assessed

March 20, 2012 • Earthworks

Oversight failure demonstrates local jurisdictions shouldn't be stripped of oil & gas regulatory authority

Durango, CO, Mar 20th – Today Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project released a new report, COGCC: Inadequate enforcement means current Colorado oil and gas development is irresponsible. Part of a national assessment of state oil and gas regulatory enforcement, highlights of the Colorado-specific findings include:

  • As the number of wells drilled increases in Colorado, the number of inspections is decreasing.
  • It is physically impossible for existing COGCC inspection staff to inspect every well once per year.
  • Many rule violations are not recorded, and very few violators are penalized.
  • For those who are penalized, $1000/day maximum fines are inadequate to deter irresponsible operations.

Big Brother is Watching Colorado’s Local Governments

January 3, 2012 • Gwen Lachelt

In today’s Denver Post, Mark Jaffe reports that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is creating two local government liaison positions. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association – the industry lobbying group - is also adding a community liaison position.

As a new drilling wave hits Colorado’s Front Range, local governments are working hard to get in front of drilling and have proper safeguards in place before it’s too late.

Unfortunately, local control is the last thing the state and the industry wants. COGA’s Tisha Schuller stated in the article that the “industry is engaging in a more meaningful way than it used to.”

This is actually a case of the oil and gas industry and the state dusting off a dirty old strategy and making it sound shiny and new and helpful.