Friday, January 25, 2013

2013 Carver Colloquium: Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Development

The Carver Colloquium is an annual event hosted by the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and presented in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The event took place at DU Law last night (Thursday, January 24th).

The Carver Colloquium focuses on presenting alternative viewpoints on cutting-edge issues in land use, environmental and natural resources law fields.

The 2013 Carver Colloquium debated the issues involved with Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Production. Professor Jan Laitos, the John A. Carver, Jr. Chair and host introduced the event with the question: “Who should have authority over oil and gas development on private land?”

UCLA Professor Robert Freilich and Dan Domenico were featured as event speakers. Professor Freilich is considered to be one of the nation’s leading experts on planning, development, zoning and land use. He argued in favor of local regulation of oil and gas development. Dan Domenico is the Colorado Solicitor General, former Department of Interior employee and adjunct professor. Dan Domenico spoke for state regulation through authorities such as the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He made sure to note that he was not speaking on behalf of any entity or person.

The debate focused on issues of preemption and then spent time discussing the associated benefits and difficulties with each level of regulation. Professor Freilich spoke about the ability of local government to take a more holistic approach to regulating oil and gas development. He cited infrastructure issues such as extreme wear and tear on the roads, schools, health and police services created by oil and gas development. He pointed to North Dakota as an example of that fact. Dan Domenico focused on the ease of operations associated with state regulation. He expressed concern that the oil and gas industry would move their businesses elsewhere if confronted with a patchwork system of regulation.

It is clear from the debate that there are valid arguments on both sides of the issue and that it is far from being decided. Stay tuned for information about the next Carver Colloquium!

Angelica Oman
Gradutate Program Assistant

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