What We’re Watching: SB 229

The 2024 legislative session is in the home stretch with just one week to go before the House and Senate gavel out. One critical development that emerged this week was the announcement of a grand compromise on many proposals impacting environmental regulation.

The compromise struck between members of the energy industry, environmental community, and the Governor’s Office comes in the form of Senate Bill 229. If passed, several of the bills on the Colorado Chamber’s job killers list will be defeated, including:

  1. SB 165: Imposed a seasonal ban on oil and gas development from June through August annually.
  2. SB 166: Created complex and severe enforcement regulations on a broad range of businesses, from manufacturers to hospitals to hotels.
  3. HB 1330: Would have added layers of new complex regulations to obtain environmental and construction permits, intentionally creating costly barriers to industry.

Together, these overreaching bills would have further threatened Colorado’s competitiveness and economic growth. The Colorado Chamber worked aggressively in opposition to these bills, activating statewide grassroots alerts to membership which resulted in thousands of messages being sent to lawmakers on behalf of business. This compromise is a major victory not only for the energy sector, but also for the statewide business community as a whole.

Senate Bill 229 would add certain modeling and review of the latest control measures to the oil and gas permitting process, grant more authority to the state to prevent repeat violations, codifies a pathway for NOx reductions in oil and gas activities, and expands the orphaned wells mitigation enterprise to include marginal wells. The Chamber’s Energy and Environment Council has taken a neutral position on the bill.