Two days ago, as the House Finance Committee prepared to review Senate Bill 19-181, many local leaders in Colorado spoke out against the bill. Currently, the main focus of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is to promote development, but this bill would shift that focus towards a focus on public health and the environment. This bill is designed to rewrite a previous Colorado statue that forced the COGCC to "foster oil and gas and do so in a way that doesn't impact the economics of the multinational corporation." While there are many constituents who support the rewriting of the bill due to its' ability to improve the environment and public safety, there are also many lawmakers who oppose due to the fact that they have many constituents employed in the oil and gas industry.
Although this is an issue happening domestically and not in a foreign, developing country, it still highlights the dilemma presented by multinational corporations, particularly in the oil industry. On one hand, the multinational corporations are bringing economic development to the state of Colorado. Oil has brought jobs, direct investment, and many other benefits to the state. On the other hand, the oil industry does not typically prioritize things like public health, safety, and the environment. This sparks an interesting debate that will be taken up in the lawmaking institutions of the state of Colorado. Even though this situation has many differences from the ones we discussed in class (primarily that it is occurring in the United States), I believe that it is even more interesting to see this dilemma unfold in a country such as the US. In the past, the US public in general has been skeptical to focus on things like the environment. This shows that the general perception of environmental protection is shifting, and it will be interesting to see if multinational corporations in the oil industry will suffer at the expense of environmental protectionist policies.