Small business group opposes local energy controls

Tony Gagliardi
Tony Gagliardi

A small business advocacy group opposes any proposals that would give local governments more control over energy development in Colorado.

“Colorado already has the most stringent oversight of oil and gas production of any state in the nation,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “So when someone wants to add an especially needless layer of regulatory authority, you can’t help but look for ulterior motives.”

The NFIB has more than 7,000 members in Colorado. According to the results of a member questionnaire last year, 84 percent of those who responded opposed any restrictions on the use of hydraulic fracturing in oil and natural gas production in the state.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has mulled calling a special session of the State Legislature to consider a proposal that would give local governments more control over energy development. 

Some business groups have supported the idea because it might head off a ballot initiative in the general election in November.

“We already have a state oil and gas commission overseeing the nation’s most stringent regulations,” Gagliardi said. “So whose political agenda is being served by allowing 64 counties to add their layer of rules? We side with the Colorado Oil & Gas Association which, like NFIB, represents Main Street oil and gas companies that would bear almost the entire burden of this bad — and let me repeat,  needless —  idea.”