Colorado Governor proposes stricter fracking regs

According to the New York Times, Governor Hickenlooper is proposing to crack down on methane leaking from gas wells. The pollution has become so pervasive that Rocky Mountain National Park is experiencing elevated ozone readings.

Gov. John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado proposed on Monday tough new limits on leaks of methane and other gases from well sites and storage tanks. Supporters called the limits, which would exceed existing federal rules, the most sweeping in the nation.

Although the rules would also cover traditional petroleum and gas exploration and production, pollution from fracking — hydraulic fracturing, used to extract gas and oil from rock formations — is the driving force behind the proposal.

The proposal, which would directly regulate emissions of methane, an especially potent greenhouse gas, for the first time, came just after Colorado voters indicated their unease with the state’s booming oil and gas industry in elections this month.

Mr. Hickenlooper developed the proposal in negotiations with three of the state’s largest oil and gas developers — Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Encana Corporation and Noble Energy — and the Environmental Defense Fund, a national advocacy group.

Among other measures, it would require companies to regularly search for and repair gas leaks in their drilling and production equipment and to keep records of their findings. Read more.

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