Colorado won’t halt drilling as it refocuses rules on safety
FILE - This Feb. 28, 2019 file photo shows a storage tank near a well pad located in a field near a housing development in Broomfield, Colo. The newly reorganized Colorado Oil and Gas Commission planned to meet Tuesday, May 21, 2019, and will later begin rewriting state rules to emphasize public safety and the environment instead of production. A new Colorado law weakens industry influence on the commission while adding experts in public health and wildlife. The law reflects increasing fears about public safety as a booming oil and gas field north and east of Denver overlaps with fast-growing communities. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
DENVER — Colorado officials said Tuesday that they had no plans to stop energy companies from drilling for oil and gas while regulators overhaul state rules to make health, safety and the environment their top priority.
Dan Gibbs, chief of the state Department of Natural Resources, said lawmakers did not want a moratorium on drilling permits while regulators rewrite the rules under a new law that shifted the state’s focus from production to protection.
“It was never the intent of the Legislature that we pause our work,” Gibbs told the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which will implement the new law. The commission is part of Gibbs’ department.