ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. – The Adams County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted 4-1 to temporarily halt any new permits for oil and gas drilling until the end of November to see what voters decide on a ballot proposal that would create new setback rules for new wells.
The moratorium on oil and gas permit applications for unincorporated parts of the county will stay in place through Nov. 30, after which the board of commissioners say they will revisit the regulations.
The decision comes as Colorado voters are set to decide on whether to pass Proposition 112, which would require new wells be at least 2,500 feet from homes and schools.
“The county is committed to fairness in its regulation of oil and gas development,” Board Chair Mary Hodge said in a statement. “This moratorium is designed to ensure there is no unfair advantage to applicants who might apply under current regulations in the weeks between now and the date that potential changes in the law under Proposition 112 become effective.”
Some in the industry took issue with the board's decision.
"We are disappointed in the Adams County Board of Commissioners’ decision today," Colorado Petroleum Council Executive Director Tracee Bentley said in a statement. "Crafting public policy based on hypothetical political outcomes is never preferable."