Bob Thibault in Law360: Oil & Gas Development Goes on Trial with Colo. Votes


Energy issues will dominate the ballot box in Colorado this fall as voters weigh a proposal that the oil and gas industry warns could stymie new development in the state and an opposing initiative that public officials fear could handcuff state and local oversight of the sector.

Haynes and Boone, LLP Counsel Robert Thibault spoke with Law360 about Proposition 112, which would mandate that new oil and gas development on nonfederal lands occur at least 2,500 feet from occupied areas such as homes, schools and hospitals, as well as so-called “vulnerable areas” including public parks and water supplies.

Here is an excerpt:

Proposition 112 has an expansive definition of oil and gas development: exploration, production and processing, including hydraulic fracturing. There's also a question of how it would apply to horizontal drilling that can extend hundreds of feet beneath the surface, said Haynes and Boone, LLP Counsel Bob Thibault, who is based in Denver and represents oil and gas companies.

“This does not define the measurement of 2,500 feet from what-to-what, whether it's on the surface, but in three dimensions, or tracking underground activity,” Thibault said. “It's just wide open.”

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