LETTER: We’re proud to be from Aurora

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DEAR EDITOR: Aurora is leading, and we are proud. In April, Gov. Jared Polis signed SB19-181, landmark legislation that puts health, safety and the environment at the forefront of regulating the oil and gas industry and provides local governments with the authority to play a larger role in the permitting and siting of operations within their boundaries.

In Aurora, our City Council was ahead of the curve. Prior to the legislation’s passage — and respecting the interest of citizens to have a better understanding oil and gas operations and their impacts — our municipal leaders took the bold step of negotiating highly technical and detailed operator agreements with the companies who wish to do business in our city.

The operator agreements being developed will hold companies accountable to best management practices that exceed Colorado State law, which is often noted as among the strictest energy-related statutes in the nation. These contracts are a great tool for Aurora in exercising its expanded authority.

As Aurora citizens, as friends with different political affiliations, and as former elected officials, we have closely monitored the ongoing negotiations that have been underway for several months. City staff and elected officials have discussed the path forward in open study sessions and Council meetings where the public is able to share their thoughts and opinions. Additionally, the city has posted the agreements they will consider on the website to allow constituents to review the document and share any feedback. We appreciate their diligence and transparency.

Our City is using its newfound powers for the betterment of our community and its residents. We’re proud to be from Aurora, where leaders lead.

— Brad Pierce and Tom Tobiassen, via [email protected]