While Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper isn’t taking a stance on policies regarding how close new homes can be built to existing oil and gas wells, he is asking oil and gas operators to provide the money needed to plug around 700 to 800 “orphan wells” in the state.
As The Denver Post reports, Hickenlooper on Tuesday unveiled a seven-pronged approach he said would improve the safety of the oil and gas industry in the state - a move prompted in part by the fatal home explosion in Firestone that was linked by investigators to a severed gas pipeline.
In regard to the proximity of new homes to existing wells, Hickenlooper said he wanted other stakeholders to weigh in first on what should be done in terms of regulation. He said the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission would review what other states are doing and that he would push legislation that would bar farmers and homeowners from tapping into industry gas lines to get domestic gas, a benefit often extended by the industry to landowners to entice them to be more favorable to drilling.