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Colorado: Punitive Oil and Gas Fine Enforcement Under Reconsideration

Upstream Conventional & Unconventional Onshore Development

Pushback against plans to strictly enforce higher fines for oil and gas violations led the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to delay implementation of the enforcement system, which was ordered to be updated by Governor John Hickenlooper. Instead, the Commission will convene again before January 7 in order to develop a system for enforcement that is less aggressive than the one being currently considered, which would institute fines of up to $15,000 per day. Detractors of the proposed enforcement system argued that voluntarily reported violations should not be punished as to encourage reporting, and requested that violators be given a chance to confer with regulators before citations are issued, among other changes. However, COGCC staff has proposed that regulators be given less discretion to waive major violations.

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