If you want to get someone’s attention, raise the price.
We’re not sure where that came from but it is certainly the case here in Colorado. Companies in the oil & gas industry have for the past two years, faced higher penalties for violations of the state’s health, safety and the environment rules. Now, it looks like that has their attention.
Since a state law requiring violations be tagged with substantially higher fines went into effect in 2014, companies are doing a better job policing themselves, says the head of the oil & gas commission.
Over the past year, the higher fines have been levied on 74 violations, resulting in $5.3 million in fines. That’s more in fines than any year in the past twenty, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Companies are “being more careful for fear of a substantial fine,” says Matt Lepore, director of the COGCC. “We aren’t seeing sort of careless mistakes and negligence as in the past.”
Is the industry pushing back? Hardly.
“Only an industry that knows how to work in a safe and compliant manner would supported increased penalties and enforcement on itself,” said Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.