Hickenlooper orders review of oil, gas fines

Drilling rig at dawn
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DENVER (AP) -- Gov. John Hickenlooper is directing the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to review its system of penalties and fines, to make sure public health, safety and the environment are protected.

Hickenlooper took action Wednesday after the legislative session ended without passage of a bill that would have raised fines for drilling violations.

He signed an executive order directing the commission to take steps including establishing minimum fine amounts for violations involving "especially egregious or aggravating" factors, as well as clarifying the process for determining when penalties for a violation start to accrue. The order also directs regulators to post online all violations and the basis for penalty assessments.

It asks the commission to report to the governor's office by Dec. 10.

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