The Colorado legislature will consider a bill that would increase maximum daily fines from $1,000 to $15,000 and wouldn’t cap the number of days fines could be levied.
The bill has the backing of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, according to a report by Cathy Proctor of the Denver Business Journal.
House Bill 1356 was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, and Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville.
“That’s right; there’s no minimum this year,” Foote told the Denver Business Journal via email.
The maximum daily penalty of $15,000 would apply to violations that don’t result in a “significant waste of oil and gas resources, do not damage correlative rights, and do not result in a significant adverse impact on public health, safety, or welfare,” the paper said.
The bill would require the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission “to hold a hearing if an oil and gas company is responsible for ‘gross negligence’ or if there is a pattern of violations.”
“The commission could bar the company from getting new drilling permits for new wells, or suspend existing permits until the company complies with regulations and pays penalties, according to the proposal,” the Denver Business Journal said.
Colorado produced 63.2 million barrels of crude oil in 2013, a new state record for annual oil production, the Denver Business Journal said last month.
Product in 2013 was 28 percent higher than in 2012, when the state’s oil and gas wells produced 49.3 million barrels of oil.