After State Audit, Activists Demand Penalties for Colorado Oil and Gas Operators
In a letter sent to Colorado Oil and Gas Commission director Jeff Robins Thursday, activist group Colorado Rising for Communities and sister group Colorado Rising asked for clarification on the agency’s recent statement to the press. In the statement, the COGCC said it would not enforce penalties against oil and gas operators who failed to file over 50,000 required monthly well reports from 2016 through 2018.
This information comes from a report released by the state auditors office last week, which found that over two-thirds of Oil and Gas operators in the state were out of compliance.
The missing reports mean operators may have skirted millions of dollars in legally-owed severance taxes. The state oil and gas commission, which did not levy any fines during the three-year period now says a one-year statute of limitations prohibits any enforcement actions.
Colorado Rising and affiliated groups say there is legal precedent to enforce the penalties and is threatening legal action for non-compliance. The activist group’s Executive Director Joe Salazar says the COGCC needs to live up to its statutory and fiscal responsibilities by taking strong action against bad industry players.