American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - 105

The Obama administration's Clean Power
Plan is an example of regulatory overreach
that threatens to strangle entire industry
segments, Colorado Attorney General
Cynthia Coffman tells the Western Energy
Alliance annual meeting, Aug. 17-18 in
Vail, Co.

she vowed, "We will file our lawsuit as
soon as the rule comes out."
The Alliance is working with other
industry associations and producing states
to oppose BLM's venting and flaring
rules, and anticipates it will shoulder the
industry's legal expenses for this issue,
Sgamma said. The Independent Petroleum
Association of America "picked up the
tab on the fracturing rule lawsuit," she
noted. "It is our turn this time around,
and we have made tremendous progress
in reaching our legal fund-raising goal."
Sgamma advised members that EPA
was gathering information from companies
on methane emissions, as well as leak
detection and repair practices, and would
continue for at least the near future. "Your
companies will be asked to provide gobs
of information to EPA," she warned.
"They will use what they gather to write
new regulations on your business."
Although the question of EPA authority
to regulate methane under its pollution
control mandate remains unresolved,
Sgamma said she expected a new rule
from the agency by mid-2017.
A regular witness at congressional
hearings on regulatory issues, Sgamma
commented that a lack of effective legislation had resulted in a stream of regulations that were steadily constricting the
industry's ability to operate on public
lands. "Oversight is fine, but we need
Congress to step up," she declared.
Ceding Resistance
Congress' lack of legislative impetus
was echoed during a speech by Colorado
Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.
"I am growing tired of hearing about
regulatory overreach, but it is a term I
have to use since it is only the Republican
attorneys general who are doing anything
about it," the first-term Republican de-

clared.
"Our federal lawmakers have deferred
to the executive branch and their regulators," Coffman said. "It is an improper
delegation of authority, and allows the
courts to have a major voice in how
public policy is made."
Coffman cited the Obama administration's year-old Clean Power Plan as
an example of how it would issue sweeping
new rules that would effectively strangle
an entire industry segment, and then continue to coax cooperation from states and
companies with compliance incentives
even as the issue was considered by the
courts.
"Although the Supreme Court last year
stayed implementation of the CPP, litigation to block it is in legal limbo," Coffman said. "In the meantime, the administration continues to offer incentives to
states to reduce carbon emissions so that
by the time the Supreme Court rules,
(the White House) will have reached its
goals."
Coffman also lamented the death of
Chief Justice Antonin Scalia and his tiebreaking vote on the EPA's plan. "The
Supreme Court decision to stay the CPP
was 5-4," she recalled. "With Scalia's
passing, we could see a justice appointed
who would tilt the court toward the federal
government's climate change goals."
As the state's top lawyer, Coffman
said she was highly critical of the federal
government's response to the August
2015 spill of contaminated water from
an abandoned gold mine in the San Juan
Mountains of southwest Colorado.
"EPA said it would take full responsibility for the Gold King Mine spill," she

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With the failure of Initiatives 75 and 78
to be certiļ¬ed for the Colorado election
ballot in November, attention has turned
to passing Amendment 71, the "Raise
the Bar" initiative, PacWest President
Paul Phillips advises the Western Energy
Alliance.

www.aogr.com
OCTOBER 2016 105


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - 4
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