Letter to the Editor: Legislature asked to clear oil, gas issue

Dear Editor:
This is an open letter to Colorado’s elected leaders:
As current and former locally elected officials in the Republican and Democratic parties, we want to thank those leaders in the state of Colorado who are using their influence to seek a sensible balance between energy development and conservation — one that ensures rigorous regulation and enforcement, but in a way that is applied consistently and efficiently so Colorado remains an attractive place to do business.
As those who follow this debate closely are aware, the State of Colorado does not take lightly its responsibility to manage, regulate and oversee oil and gas development. In fact, our state has the most comprehensive and stringent regulations in the nation.
Our fair state has seen significant energy development activity in the last few years, and our regulations have ensured that the development has not occurred at the expense of our environment.
As we approach another election season, there may be attempts at the ballot box to change the way Colorado currently regulates the oil and gas industry. Rumors abound as to whether an initiative will attempt to ban development processes, like fracking, or turn our state into a confusing patchwork of inconsistency by transferring regulation of the industry to hundreds of local governments.
Neither outcome is acceptable or responsible.
Cities and counties across Colorado do not have adequate budgets in place, nor have we developed the in-house expertise to take over state regulation of oil and gas activities within our jurisdictions.
Attempts to end Colorado’s statewide approach to energy regulation would invite more politics into our energy policy at a time when there is too much already, inevitably triggering regulatory chaos that chases energy investment to the many states that have embraced a balanced approach to energy development.
It doesn’t make sense to throw our current regulatory framework into chaos, when the system in place is working well. We applaud leaders who are opposing these measures and stand behind you in maintaining our existing regulatory system for energy development.
This letter is signed by more than 150 current or past elected officials around Colorado as well as those from Rio Blanco County who listed below: Mayor Richard Blakely (Town of Dinosaur), Councilmember Toby Cortez (Town of Dinosaur), Councilmember Bruce Long (Town of Dinosaur), Councilmember Devonna Wilczek (Town of Dinosaur), Mayor Ann Brady* (Town of Rangely), Councilmember Brad Casto (Town of Rangely), Councilmember Dan Eddy (Town of Rangely), Councilmember Clayton Gohr (Town of Rangely), Councilmember Lisa Hatch (Town of Rangely), Mayor Frank Huitt (Town of Rangely), Councilmember Joseph Nielsen (Town of Rangely), Mayor Pro-tem Elaine Urie (Town of Rangely), Commissioner Jeff Eskelson (Rio Blanco County), Commissioner Jon Hill (Rio Blanco County), Commissioner Peg Rector* (Rio Blanco County),
*denotes former elected
position held