Oil & Gas

We work to protect landowner rights and human and environmental health in the face of OIL AND GAS development -- ensuring that people have a fair say in where and how drilling occurs, and that development is balanced with long-term community interests.


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Landowner Rights

Western Colorado has lived with oil and gas development for decades, but new technology now allows it happen closer to people and neighborhoods. All across the state, people are feeling the impacts of this industry. We are working with impacted people across the region, in communities like Battlement Mesa, to ensure that drilling is conducted safely away from schools, ranches and homes.

photo courtesy of EcoFlight

Balanced Use on Public Lands

Across our region, there are thousands of wells drilled on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. While oil and gas development is part of our public land system, federal agencies grossly favor industrial development over other uses. 90% of our public lands are available to oil and gas drilling while only 10% are focused on conservation and other values. We work to ensure that public lands are managed for the benefit of all our people, not just industry, and that development happens in the most appropriate places. Specifically, we are working to protect Grand Junction’s watershed and the organic farms and orchards of the North Fork Valley from the impacts of drilling on surrounding public lands.

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Protecting Air Quality & Public Health

Oil and gas development releases dangerous chemicals into the air including VOCs and methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Our members have been working at both the state and federal level to win new protections from air pollution coming from oil and gas development. At the state level, we passed precedent-setting rules to limit methane emissions from oil and gas facilities, and continue to ensure those protections are upheld and strengthened. We also support similar federal efforts from the Bureau of Land Management and the Environmental Protection Agency, protecting the air we breathe and limiting the waste of valuable publicly owned natural gas resources.

1999 O&G drill rig at Capitol

Oil & Gas Policy Reform

Our Alliance has worked for decades to improve the state rules and laws that govern oil and gas development. From engaging in state agency rule-makings to working with elected officials at the legislature, we use very tool in the toolbox to make sure people have a voice in permitting processes, that local governments have the right to regulate industry and that statewide regulations protect landowner rights as well as human and environmental health.

What We're Fighting For

  • At least 1,000-foot setbacks from homes and 1,500-foot setbacks from schools
  • Legal standing for neighbors and longer public comment periods
  • High performance standards if drilling is allowed near people
  • Protection of local government power to regulate industry
  • More inspection of wells near people, populated areas or waterways
  • Higher penalties for rule-breakers, especially repeat offenders
  • Comprehensive study of public health impacts
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