Watching Government: Colorado deals with setbacks

The idea that Colorado regulators faced setbacks seems confusing at first. In this context, however, "setback" refers to the required distance for oil and gas wells from an occupied building. The manner in which Colorado's Oil & Gas Conservation Commission dealt with it on Jan. 9 was quite clear. It proposed requiring at least a 500-ft setback for an exploration or development well, which would be the most rigorous such requirement in the nation. Existing setback standards were 150 ft in rural areas and 350 ft in urban areas. Operators wanting to drill within 1,000 ft of an occupied structure would have to use closed loop drilling to eliminate pits, meet liner standards to p...

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