Garfield County Plans Economic Impact Study of State Oil & Gas Regulations

GLENWOOD SPRINGS—The long term economic impacts of Colorado’s new and tougher oil and gas regulations are unknown. That’s why Garfield County is launching a study to learn more.  County Oil and Gas Liaison Kirby Wynn will oversee the study with the help of a team of economists. The new regulations, under the mandate of Senate Bill 181, went into effect less than a month ago. The county’s plan is to break the study down into pre and post 181.  Wynn says some companies in the county aren’t waiting for the study or a rebound. He says many are simply cutting their losses now. “There’s a point at which operators see where it’s cheaper to just plug and abandon a well than to maintain a production because the one time regulatory compliance cost and or an addition of long term maintenance cost more than that well could ever bring back to them.”  Some scenarios show reduced oil and gas production hurting the local economy, jobs, tax revenue and investment in new wells and infrastructure.