The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is about to throw a huge curve to the oil and gas industry.

Encouraging energy development had been the mission of the COGCC but the direction they are moving towards now is towards regulation designed to protect the environment and the public.

HB 19-181 will give local governments a say on how oil and gas will impact the local environment and may allow those local governments to set their own regulations, even above those set at the state level.

As with any venture, the more regulations placed on it, the fewer opportunities, there will be for employment and fewer places where oil and gas can be drilled.

The summary of the bill, as stated is:

The bill enhances local governments' ability to protect public health, safety, and welfare and the environment by clarifying, reinforcing, and establishing their regulatory authority over the surface impacts of oil and gas development.

The commission currently has three members from the oil and gas industry. This will change as well, with their numbers being reduced to one and the four positions available will go to those with experience in public health and the environment.

This is shaping up to be quite a battle. You haven't heard the last from the oil and gas industry on this.