Oil and Gas Development

Judge Rules in Favor of Landowners

According to a recent Durango Herald article, Judge Gregory Lyman tossed out several gas companies’ applications for water rights in a ruling that could strengthen the hands of landowners in negotiations with drillers. Judge Lyman’s ruling is the latest development in a long struggle concerning water rights and gas drilling that began in 2007.


May 11, 2011--New study reveals dangerous levels of flammable methane in drinking water wells (Colorado Independent)

A new scientific study conducted by researchers at Duke University for the first time shows drinking water wells closer to natural gas drilling activity contain higher levels of flammable methane gas that the federal government says could require “hazard mitigation” action.


May 2, 2011--Court sides with Wyo. in water dispute with Mont. (Denver Post)

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Wyoming farmers Monday in a water lawsuit that claimed they were taking too much water from a river system shared with neighboring Montana. The high court struck down one of four claims made by Montana in a 2007 complaint that said Wyoming was violating a 1950 agreement by depleting water from the Tongue and Powder rivers.

April 20, 2011--Senate acts on beer, water, merger (Durango Herald)

With no debate, senators passed a bill to strengthen the state’s case against lawsuits over the water used by gas and oil wells. House Bill 1286 tells the courts to give deference to state water regulators, who adopted maps last year to show when gas and oil wells need to be given greater scrutiny to make sure they don’t injure the water rights of nearby landowners.


April 17, 2011--Drilling put toxins in water (Boulder Daily Camera)

Millions of gallons of potentially hazardous chemicals and known carcinogens were injected into wells by leading oil and gas service companies from 2005 to 2009.  The repo

March 30, 2011--House passes gas and water measure (Durango Herald)

A bill to boost the state’s legal case in lawsuits over gas and oil drilling won unanimous approval Tuesday in the state House of Representatives.


March 23, 2011--Rancher-oil water dispute prompts Colorado bill (Summit Daily)

Lawmakers are moving to strengthen the state's hand in water lawsuits with a bill prompted by a dispute between southwest Colorado ranchers and gas and oil drillers. A House committee voted 13-0 Monday in favor of a bill that raises the legal standard for the ranchers suing the state engineer over allowing certain oil wells to be drilled without water permits.


October 4, 2010--Oil and gas wells under new Colorado water policies (Pueblo Chieftain)

The state has developed policies for some groundwater after a state Supreme Court decision and new law last year. The changes have the potential to affect up to 40,000 oil and gas wells in Colorado, said Kevin Rein, assistant state engineer.


September 10, 2010--EPA wants to know chemicals used in gas drilling (Washington Post)

The Environmental Protection Agency asked nine natural gas companies Thursday to voluntarily disclose the chemical components used in a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing.


August 31, 2010--Lawsuits keep water fight alive (Duragno Herald)

It was a Monday morning in April 2009 when four ranchers from Southwest Colorado finally got the state Legislature's attention. They already had won a case in Durango water court that - if the state Supreme Court upheld it - could force every gas and oil well in Colorado to get a water permit. A few lawmakers, like former Sen.


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