Colorado among the strictest fracking regulations?

The oil and gas industry likes to spout about Colorado having some of the most stringent regulations on fracking anywhere. Besides the relativity of this statement among universally weak state regulations nationwide, there’s a big difference between being regulated and being restricted. An extensive body of rules and regs can present the illusion of robust control and oversight, but not only can the two aspects be mutually exclusive, extensive bureaucracy, red tape, and paperwork can actually serve to cloak a complete lack of adequate restrictions and protection of the public. Such is the case in Colorado. COGCC fracking well permit applications can be officially either “approved, withdrawn, rejected, denied, or deleted.” In searching back through years and thousands of permit applications, we have not been able to find a single instance of an application being “denied”. Temporarily rejected for technical reasons such as faulty or missing attachments, yes, but flat out rejected? No.

Without even a single instance, out of tens of thousands of cases, of an official request to frack being denied, nor a single instance where the public’s health, safety, and welfare were formally given priority over commercial expediencies, neither the oil and gas industry, nor the state of Colorado and its regulators, can claim that fracking is adequately or even minimally restricted. 

The rules and regs, forms, paperwork and processes, are merely the “how-to” process that the industry must put up with in return for automatic, rubber-stamped approval of each and every plan and project they can conceive of. 

© Harv 2014-2018