Colorado moves ahead with higher oil, gas fines

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- A Colorado proposal to hike oil and gas drilling fines for the first time in more than 50 years has advanced in the state Legislature.

The House Finance Committee voted 7-5 to hike drilling fines from a maximum $1,000 a day to a maximum $15,000 a day. The bill also removes a maximum drilling fine of $10,000.

The Democratic sponsor of the fine hike says Colorado's 1955 fine schedule leaves the state far behind fellow energy-producing states. The Colorado Oil & Gas Association testified that fines are indeed due for an update. However, the industry group said it wants to keep talking about what the fines should be.

The fine bill faces one more House committee before it can advance to the full chamber.