Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) signed a contentious oil and gas reform bill into law this week. Senate Bill 181 overhauls industry rules to prioritize public safety and the environment. The new law gives local governments more control over oil and gas development. This includes the authority to restrict the location of wells, which could ban drilling in areas near homes or schools.
— Colorado Senate Republicans (@ColoSenGOP) April 16, 2019
The sweeping legislation is the result of years of conflict between industry supporters and people with growing safety concerns who live near oil rigs, wells, and tanks. Nationally, Colorado ranks fifth in crude oil production and sixth in natural gas. The industry says it contributes $32 billion to the state economy (including taxes) and 89,000 direct and indirect jobs. Industry supporters are leading an effort to ask voters to overturn the law due to concerns over stifling the industry, destroying jobs, and decreasing tax revenue. Supporters, like burn survivor Erin Martinez, believe the new law will help prevent catastrophic gas line explosions.
Firestone House Explosion
Two years ago, Erin Martinez lost her husband and brother in a house explosion caused by a natural gas line leak in Firestone, CO. The deadly explosion occurred when an underground line from a well leaked gas into their home. After surviving serious burn injuries, Erin became an advocate for changes in oil and gas regulation to hold the industry accountable and help prevent what happened to her family from happening to someone else.
We Help People Injured in Gas Leak Explosions
Our fire and explosion lawyers help burn victims and grieving families who lost a loved one in gas explosions. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have appeared on WCCO TV to discuss the ongoing issue of gas leak explosions.
“There are leaks all the time…People just don’t know what’s underground and have no way of knowing it’s there unless they take extraordinary amount of time and research to figure it out.”Explosion Lawyer Fred Pritzker