A proposal is being heard by the Colorado Senate Committees of Agriculture, Natural Resource, & Energy Thursday regarding compensation for mineral owners whose property value is reduced due to regulations limiting hydraulic fracturing. The bill is one of many being considered in Colorado during state’s ongoing discussion about fracing.
The bill states that the owner of any land which has its market value reduced by 60% or more by “an ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation, or other form of official policy concerning mineral extraction operations” will be compensated for the value of their land.
If the value of the land is reduced by at least 60%, “the bill specifies that the owner’s interest is deemed to have been taken for public use,” and in such cases, “the bill allows the owner to obtain compensation from the local government for the full diminution in the fair market value of the owner’s interest.”
The bill goes on to establish a framework in which owners can seek compensation from the local government, and their rights in obtaining compensation. Mineral owners can choose to have their case heard in a district court, by the board of commissioners or a jury. The bill also states that land owners may challenge the value determination if they feel it is too low, but the state is only able to challenge the determination if it thinks the amount is too high after it has posted a bond for the full amount of the award.
The governor of Colorado’s Oil and Gas Task Force, a broad citizen coalition representing the environmentalists, oil and gas industry, real estate developers and others, is also addressing the issue of how to handle local government rules and regulations relating to oil and gas operations around the state. The task force’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 24, 2015 in Denver.
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