Another state reported to have poor enforcement of oil and gas rules: Colorado

I have blogged in the past about insufficient state oil and gas regulations, inspection, and enforcement across the country, from California to Texas to Pennsylvania. A new article in the Colorado Independent reports that state regulators in Colorado have yet to resolve some extremely signifant cases of environmental contamination from oil or gas drilling that are two to three years old.

In one case, a Colorado resident drank water contaminated with benzene and had to go to the hospital. In another, a company spilled more than 30,000 barrels of used hydraulic fracturing fluid that flowed into a creek.

Colorado recently updated some of its oil and gas rules, which was an excellent first step toward improving regulation of this industry in my home state. The new rules are a considerable improvement over the old rules. But some of the rules do not go far enough to protect the environment and human health, and some very important issues have not yet been addressed. We need comprehensive updated regulations where oil and gas drilling takes place. And we also need vigorous enforcement of whatever rules are on the books. Letting years go by before companies are penalized for violating the law and contaminating our land and water is not acceptable.