Finding the balance between community safety and the needs of the oil, gas industry

DENVER -- The oil and gas industry is huge in Colorado, but finding a balance between industry needs and the concerns of people worried about the safety of their families and their home values can be difficult.

“I think the governor and the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation commission is working to try to make sure they inspect those and that the operators inspect those lines and make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again,” Rep. Foote told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged when talking about recent explosions.  “Unfortunately, I don’t think that answers the entire question. We have a real issue with these operations being close to schools and houses. That’s a whole different issue. It’s a much bigger issue that we need to address.”

Foote supported bills during the last legislative session that would have addressed many of these concerns, but they failed or were killed. He says the reason was simple: The industry didn’t want them to pass.

“The industry opposed all the bills that we proposed. It wasn’t just me, it was other representatives as well and senators,” Foote said. “One bill was to move these operations further away from schools, the industry opposed that so it got voted down. One dealt with mapping of these flow lines which is at issue with the Firestone explosion.  That’s something we need to do but the industry opposed that and it got voted down.”

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Denver7.

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