Harry Thompson: On the right track
November 17, 2012
I am very pleased that Routt County's Chris Brookshire noted during Thursday's Planning Commission oil and gas work session that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's local government designee program was "thorough and working well."
This is welcome news. The county staff using the program means the county less likely is moving toward litigation and more likely moving toward working collaboratively with the governor and the state. Brookshire deserves credit for making full use of the program. Best of all, property rights advocates and taxpayers' pocketbooks can breathe a sigh of relief.
Colorado state law provides a specific channel through which local governments can assert their prerogatives and preferences in the decisions that state oil and gas regulators make about energy production in their jurisdiction. This process is called the local government designee process — it gives local governments special standing before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and it also reserves the right of local jurisdictions to appeal the decisions of state regulators. In other communities this position provides an avenue for local governments to shape decisions about oil and gas development.
Our Citizens Supporting Property Rights group has advocated for our county to use this position and have a very involved local government designee. It is great to see that the county is using the program and moving forward in a positive manner.