New oil, gas regulation frustrates both sides

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Oil and gas wells could be subject to more regulation if a proposal passes in the state legislature.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved a 500-foot set back for new wells to replace the 350-foot rule currently in place.

The increased distance is in response to environmental groups and homeowners who claim the wells have a negative effect on communities.

But representatives from both sides of the issue-- Colorado Conservation Voters and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association-- said the change isn't drastic enough in either direction.

"To help protect Coloradans at the state level, we would like to see more enforcement, more cops on the beat. I think on local level, local governments have every right and an authority to oversee heavy industrial activities like drilling and fracking," said Chris Arend, communications director for Colorado Conservation Voters.

Doug Flanders with the Colorado Oil and Gas Association wouldn't do an interview today, but he gave us the following statement:

"COGA supported an alternate plan, which would have provided flexibility for efficient use of land and drilling resources when there are multiple interests involved with the siting of an oil and gas well. Unfortunately, the new setback will instead result in more interference with surface use and development."

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