DENVER (AP) - Oil and gas drilling started to come under review Thursday by Colorado lawmakers, who are poised to abandon their traditional hands-off role and take up a raft of measures to tell state regulators how drilling should be controlled.
First, a House panel signed off on a dramatic increase to the maximum daily fines for drilling infractions, from $1,000 to $15,000. Another committee approved a bill to require each oil and gas location to be inspected at least once a year, a significant increase.
More than a dozen additional proposals could come before state lawmakers in the next few weeks. Criticism of the industry shows no sign of abating after the state's drilling regulator, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, enacted tougher rules earlier this year.