Denver, Colo. >>> Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) expressed their disappointment today in the withdrawal of Colorado House Bill 1185, surface owner compensation legislation.
“We worked long and hard on this bill with Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Dist. 6, and Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Dist. 61,” said John Stencel, president of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a general farm organization. “The bill had gone a long way in incorporating some significant changes benefiting the landowners, the farmers and ranchers of the state.”
For the first time, under the proposed legislation, there would have been significant change in Colorado law to require the oil and gas drilling operator to notify, negotiate with, and compensate a surface owner for use of the surface owner’s land.
“We want to commend Rep. Curry and Sen. Isgar for their valiant effort to bring all sides together. They tried to craft a bill that would have met most of the needs of the interested parties. It is our loss that we may not see constructive legislation again in the near future. Landowners will have to fend for themselves without a surface use agreement,” said Stencel.
RMFU believes that H.B.1185 would have been an important step forward in strengthening the ability of surface landowner to impact oil and gas operations.