In this Capitol Report:
- Senate Committee Sets Date for Hearing on Bill Seeking to Codify State Appeals Court Ruling on Martinez Case before Colorado Supreme Court Can Rule
- CACI’s Labor and Employment Council Welcomes Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp
- Support CACI’s Golf Tournament-Sponsorships Now Available
- CACI's Legislative Agenda
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Senate Committee Sets Date for Hearing on Bill Seeking to Codify State Appeals Court Ruling on Martinez Case before Colorado Supreme Court Can Rule
HB-1071, which the Democrat-controlled House passed over the opposition of two Democrats and all Republicans, is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee when it convenes upon adjournment of the Senate’s floor session on Wednesday morning, March 7th, in Senate Committee Room 357.
The CACI Energy and Environment Council opposes the measure.
The Senate sponsor is Senator Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City).
HB-1071 was sponsored in the House by Representative Joe Salazar (D-Thornton)., who is running for the Democrat nomination for Colorado Attorney General. Representative Salazar is term-limited.
The significance of the Martinez case, which the Colorado Supreme Court agreed on January 29th to hear, to not only the oil-and-gas industry but the entire state economy cannot be understated. If the ruling by the Colorado court of Appeals in the Martinez case is upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court, decisions by the state’s regulatory body over the industry would very likely be mired in litigation, which could bring new production to a screeching halt.
Here’s the legislative summary of the bill, which was not amended in the House:
HB-1071 “Concerning the regulation of oil and gas operations in a manner consistent with the protection of public safety.”
Current law declares that it is in the public interest to ‘[f]oster the responsible, balanced development, production, and utilization of the natural resources of oil and gas in the state of Colorado in a manner consistent with protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources’. The Colorado court of appeals, in Martinez v. Colo. Oil & Gas Conservation Comm’n , 2017 COA 37, has construed this language to mean that oil and gas development is not balanced with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources. Rather, that development must occur in a manner consistent with such protection.
The mission of the COGCC is stated on its web site:
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is charged with fostering the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources in a manner consistent with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including the environment and wildlife resources. Our agency seeks to serve, solicit participation from, and maintain working relationships with all those having an interest in Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources.
The bill’s Fiscal Note offers a more detailed analysis of HB-1071:
Summary of Legislation
This bill clarifies that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is required to regulate oil and gas operations in a manner consistent with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including the protection of the environment and wildlife resources. The commission must regulate oil and gas operations so as to prevent and mitigate adverse environmental or public health impacts.
Under current law the COGCC is charged with regulating oil and gas resource production in the state in a way that balances production and public health, safety, and welfare. In 2013, a rule was proposed requiring that the commission withhold drilling permits unless it could be independently confirmed that the drilling would not adversely impact human health or the environment. The commission concluded that the proposed rule would readjust the balance between production and public safety, and that the proposed rule would require regulatory actions that are beyond the commission’s statutory authority. In 2014, the district court upheld the commission’s decision to deny adopting the proposed rule.
The Colorado court of appeals, in Martinez v. Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission 16CA0564 (Colorado 2017), overturned the district court’s decision. The court of appeals concluded that current regulation is not balanced between production and public health and safety, and that current law gives the commission the authority and obligation to regulate oil and gas development in the interest of public health and the environment. This bill codifies the result reached in Martinez.
Under a limited set of circumstances, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) consults with the commission on surface location permit applications. In general, CDPHE staff evaluate the permit application, conduct a site visit, review public comments, confer with staff from air, water and solid waste divisions, and with commission staff. Currently, the CDPHE consults on about 12 applications annually.
For more information about HB-1071, contact Bill Skewes, CACI Contract Lobbyist.
For more information on this bill and the Martinez case and news media coverage, read:
“Correction: Bill Affirming Court Ruling that Public Safety and environment Supersede Oil-and-Gas Production,” CACI Colorado Capitol Report, February 16th.
“Colorado Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal in Martinez oil and gas lawsuit,” by Amelia Arvesen, The Longmont Times-Call, January 29th.
“Hickenlooper orders halt to fight over court oil-gas ruling, but AG Coffman moves ahead,” Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, May 18, 2017.
“Colorado appeals court says state must protect health and environment before allowing oil and gas drilling,” by Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, March 23, 2017.
“State Rep. Joe Salazar will run for Colorado attorney general,” by Christopher Osher, The Denver Post, March 10, 2017.
CACI’s Labor and Employment Council Welcomes Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp
On Wednesday, February 21st the CACI Labor and Employment Council heard from Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp, Chair of the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee. Representative Kraft-Tharp discussed legislation and policy issues that impact CACI’s members and the business community, as well as, answered questions from the council members.
The council discussed several bills including:
- HB 1001– Concerning the Creation of A Family Medical Leave Program (FAMLI)
- HB 1033 – Concerning the Time in Which Employees Are Entitled To Take Leave To Participate In Elections
- HB 1128 – Concerning Strengthening Protections For Consumer Data Privacy
- HB 1202 – Income Tax Credit Leave Of Absence Organ Donation
- HB 1230– Concerning the Creation of A Purple Card Program For Legal Work Status In CO
- SB 44 – Concerning the Ability of Private Employers To Give Preference To Veterans When Making Certain Employment Decisions
The Council has taken an oppose position on HB 1001 and decided to remain neutral on HB 1033 and SB 44.
The next Labor and Employment Council will be March 14th from noon-1:15 pm at CACI’s office.
Support CACI’s Golf Tournament-Sponsorships Now Available
Friday, May 25, 2018
1 Lake Avenue, Colorado Springs
Registration – 11:00 a.m.
Shotgun start: 1:00 p.m.
Please visit our website for more information or to register for the golf tournament.
For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Senior Vice President, Events & Political Fundraising Tricia Smith
CACI's Legislative Agenda
Below is a list of bills and their status on which CACI Policy Councils have taken positions. For more information on the bills, contact Loren Furman, CACI Senior Vice President, State and Federal Relations, at 303.866.9642.
|Health Care Council Bills||Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|HB 1007 by Rep. Kennedy & Sen. Lambert||Substance Use Disorder Payment & Coverage||Oppose|
|HB 1009 by Rep. Roberts & Sen. Donovan||Diabetes Drug Pricing Transparency Act 2018||Oppose|
|HB 1097 by Reps. Catlin, Danielson & Sens. Coram, Todd||Patient Choice Of Pharmacy||Oppose|
|SB 136 by Neville & Reps. Kraft-Tharp, Sias||Health Insurance Producer Fees And Fee Disclosure||Support|
|SB 023 by Sen. Martinez Humenik & Rep. Ginal||Promote Off-label Use Pharmaceutical Products||Oppose/Dead|
|Tax Council Bills||Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|HB 1022 by Reps. Sias, Kraft-Tharp & Sen. Jahn,||Requiring DOR to do RFI for Sales Tax Simplification System||Support|
|HB 1185 by Reps. Kraft-Tharp, Wist & Sens. Neville, Moreno||Market Sourcing For Business Income Tax Apportionment||Support|
|HB 1036 by Rep. Leonard & Sen. Neville||Reduction of Business Personal Property Tax||Support/Dead|
|HB 1201 by Rep. Thurlow & Sen. Coram||Severance Tax Voter-Approved Revenue Change||Support w/ Amendment|
|Labor & Employment |
|Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|HB 1001 by Reps. Winter, Gray & Sens. |
|Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program||Oppose|
|HB 1033 by Rep. Weissman & Sen. Coram||Employee Leave To Participate In Elections||Neutral|
|HB 1250 by Reps.Kraft-Tharp, Sias & Sen. Priola||Analysis to Improve Compliance With Rules By Business||Support|
|HB 1261 by Rep. Weissman||Colorado Arbitration Fairness Act||Oppose|
|HB 1262 by Reps. Jackson & Roberts||Arbitrations Services Provider Transparency Act||Oppose|
|SB 44 by Sen. Crowder & Rep. Landgraf||Veterans Employment Preference By Private Employer||Neutral|
|SB 178 by Sen. Smallwood & Rep. Kraft-Tharp||Similar Coverage Independent Commercial Vehicles||Support|
|SB 193 by Sen. Coram||Limit State Agency Occupational Regulations||Oppose|
|Energy & Environment|
|Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|HB 1071 by Rep. Salazar||Regulate Oil Gas Operations Protect Public Safety||Oppose/Dead|
|HB 1157 by Reps. Becker, Singer||Increased Reporting Oil And Gas Incidents ||Oppose|
|HB 1215 by Rep. Arndt||Safe Disposal Naturally Occur Radioactive Material||Oppose As Introduced|
|SB 009 by Sens. Priola, Fenberg||Allow Electric Utility Customers Energy Storage Equipment||Neutral|
|SB 047 by Sen. Marble & Rep. Saine||Repeal Tax Credits Innovative Vehicles||Oppose|
|SB 063 by Sen. Jones & Rep. Benavidez||Oil Gas Higher Financial Assurance Reclamation Requirements||Oppose/Dead|
|SB 064 by Sen. Jones & Rep. Foote||Require 100% Renewable Energy By 2035||Oppose/Dead|
|SB 167 by Sens. Scott, Donovan & Reps. Winter, Saine||Enforce Requirements 811 Locate Underground Facilities||Neutral|
|Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|SB 062 by Sen. Moreno||Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation||Oppose|
|HB 1128 by Reps. Wist, Bridges & Sens. Court, Lambert||Protections For Consumer Data Privacy||Support as Amended|
|General Business Issues Bills||Bill Title/Description||Council Position|
|SB 001 by Sens. Cooke, Baumgardner & Reps Carver, Buck||Transportation Infrastructure Funding||Support|