2 of 3 Routt County commissioners don’t see need for oil well moratorium

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Editor's note: This story has been corrected from its original version. Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush supports a moratorium on oil and gas permits.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners heard strong public sentiment Tuesday night for a moratorium on new permits for oil and gas wells. However, at the end of the night, two of the three commissioners sent a strong signal that they would prefer to continue strengthening the regulations and conditions they place on energy exploration rather than putting a temporary halt on new permit applications.

“I would not be in favor of a moratorium,” Commissioner Doug Monger said after hearing two hours of public comments. “We only have three or four wells a year. I think we took big steps a month ago when we took care of our road regulations.”

“Right now, the way I feel is that we can create conditions to protect public health, safety and welfare,” Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said. “We have the ability to put really stringent conditions on oil and gas.”

Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush sided with many of those in the crowd, saying that she believes a moratorium would be appropriate.

With at least 80 interested people overflowing the Commissioners Hearing Room in the Routt County Courthouse, Routt County Planning Department Director Chad Phillips began the meeting by describing some of the ways in which the county might update its current oil and gas regulations. They include requiring drilling companies to use closed systems to handle the liquids that come out of bore holes rather than open pits, requiring green drilling and fracking fluids that do not contain toxic chemicals, requiring energy companies to participate in regional and countywide air-quality monitoring, limiting flaring of ambient natural gas and encouraging the use of electric motors on well-pad equipment whenever possible.

Speaking for the Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley, Paul Stettner expressed concern for water quality and urged commissioners to entertain a moratorium while they work to beef up regulations.

“Once you destroy groundwater, you’ve destroyed it for good,” Stettner said. “We believe it’s in the best interest of Routt County for the public to get proactive. We believe county and state regs are inadequate.”

Stettner also urged the county to take enforcement into its own hands by sponsoring a compliance officer to ensure energy companies are living up to the conditions of their permits.

Monger said the idea of contracting with a compliance officer to visit drilling sites was a concept he could embrace.

Chuck McConnell urged those at the meeting to look at the growing interest in energy exploration in Northwest Colorado in terms of its potential economic benefits.

“Our current unemployment rate is about 8.1 percent,” McConnell said. “And right here in Routt County, there are hundreds of skilled workers, construction workers and truck drivers. In North Dakota (where energy exploration has boomed), unemployment is less than 4.5 percent. In about two years, we face the potential of much-decreased revenue to the county from property taxes. It looks to me, if that occurs, we could see decreased services. … I think we can surely solve problems that might come up in Routt County so we can relieve some of the suffering” of people who are out of work.

Mark Stewart, a resident of the rural Saddle Mountain Ranchettes subdivision, identified himself as an air-quality specialist who has worked for Xcel Energy for 15 years. He said he thinks the county has an obligation to protect the environmental quality of the region from the potential threat that a well permit being sought by Quicksilver Resources could bring.

“I’m not against responsible oil and gas exploration,” Stewart said. “The lease that is in our neighborhood is supposedly good for 47 years. That affects my son for the next 47 years. I think they should test our water for 47 years.”

Joan Ryan, who represents the owner of Wolf Mountain Ranch, where Quicksilver is waiting to learn the results of a newly drilled oil well, said she is reassured that it is possible to protect the strong conservation values on the ranch while living with an oil well.

“We have pretty much been successful working with Quicksilver,” Ryan said. “The oil company is paying for a consultant to establish baseline (environmental quality). I think we can blend the production while protecting everything that’s important out there.”

In a response to a question from Ryan, county attorney John Merrill said state law provides fairly narrow conditions on when counties can impose moratoriums. He added there is case law that suggests that in the case of companies that already hold a drilling lease on a well site, where the three- to five-year window to drill is ticking, counties would have to be careful with regard to property rights to protect themselves from a takings suit.

“It makes it quite clear, in my mind. There has to be a balancing act between the interests of the landowner and the public in adopting a moratorium,” Merrill said.

Saddle Mountain resident Sandy Kebodeaux left the commissioners with a poignant request.

“I want to know why it’s happening in a residential area where it’s going to affect so many people, when there are so many thousands of acres out there,” Kebodeaux said. “We’re going to be affected by that every single day, where if it was set two miles down the road, almost no one could notice it. That would solve a lot of my anguish.”

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Megan Walker 2 years, 7 months ago

In the interest of objectivity, I am curious as to why Tom Ross reported only on the opinions of the board members who were opposed to the moratorium, and omitted any mention of the board member who was strongly in favor of the moratorium?

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Kerrie Cooper 2 years, 7 months ago

I'd be curious how much the gas/oil men offered or even paid the commissioners to be against the moratoriums. Just curious.

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Kyle Elston 2 years, 7 months ago

lovestoread, it has happened with Colorado County Commissioners elsewhere:

http://checksandbalancesproject.org/2011/08/09/gas-industrial-complex-series-colorado/

Also, this article misrepresented not only the facts regarding public presence (there were over 100 people present- not 80 as reported) and Ms. Misch Bush's stance on the issue (she is FOR a moratorium), but they blatantly misrepresented the atmosphere of the meeting and the concerns voiced by those present. Routt County citizens want a moratorium!!!

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darkstar 2 years, 7 months ago

No, we dont want a moratorium on oil wells, we as the county government feel that we can appropriately and responsibly oversee and impose rules and restrictions on where and how they can drill.....you know, just like the first well that went up on Wolf Mtn.....where....oh, we got duped on that didn't we?

Well it won't happen again, promise!

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Kerrie Cooper 2 years, 7 months ago

It's truly sickening to see how powerful the disease of greed is.....Those infected will put their heads as far into the sand as possible, so they don't have to watch their neighbors and community get sick, or the water poisoned by their decisions. I have only one thing to say............KARMA IS A BI-CH.

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Kerrie Cooper 2 years, 7 months ago

Also, thanks a lot Kyle for the website information. I smelled stink immediately upon reading the story.

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Megan Walker 2 years, 7 months ago

My feelings exactly. Honestly, I was beginning to think I was imagining things, but its true, he DID omit any mention of Ms. Mitsch Bush's thoughts, I was under the impression as well that she was very much in favor of a moratorium in order to be sure that we adequatley safeguarded environmental & public health. I was disappointed with the biased tone of this article (and others Ross has written in regards to the matter, frankly) and the fact that the threat of a corporate law suit weighed more heavily on certain commissioners' minds than the health of the community. These companies will some & go, they are not here to benefit this community, they are here to profit from it, pack their bags & leave, period. Where will this leave us? To deny the dangers of these practices (fracking specifically) is deplorable. The "proof" is definitely out there. That is why the Delaware River Basin & the entire state of New York have imposed moratoriums. Furthermore, the article gives the impression that the establishments of baselines (measurements of things like air & water quality, & health so that there is something to go by if things start going south) are already in the works; when Ms. Mitsch Bush mentioned the importance of these things, Mr. Monger shot them down, saying that such measures would take far too long to establish, & that with only had 6 wells approved it wasn't necessary. Clearly, he does NOT have the public's best interest in mind. As far as driling alleviating unemployment, this is only a band-aid, and these workers will again be un-employed once these companies pull out. A better solution would be to re-educate these workers in more sustainable professions that would benefit our changing world, while simultaneously working to reduce our dependency on these resources by living within our means and working towards a sustainable economy.

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Vince arroyo 2 years, 7 months ago

Oil & Gas is abundant. If you don't like it MOVE!

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Megan Walker 2 years, 7 months ago

What a compelling argument, hometown. That makes so much sense; let's all just move & let the oil & gas companies have their way with the place. Great solution. Sorry, I am too devoted to my community, and I'm sorry to hear that you are so complacent.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

We could have given the oil and gas companies a teeeney weeeney little piece of an uninhabited wasteland called ANWaR instead. But noooooooo.

Now, in no small part due to tree-huggers right here in Colorado, oil companies are drilling right here in your back yard instead of in ANWaR or the Gulf, etc. Ironically funny doesn't begin to describe... hee hee hee The radical environmental lefts inability to grasp "If-Then" logic never ceases to amaze me. Kind of like how they "protected" Colorados forests. THAT worked really well, no??

It is also hillarious to read that some actually believe that a fossil-based energy source which is abundant enough to last the entire earth several hundred years can only provide "temporary" employment while re-educating workers to work in a "changing" world is somehow a more permanent maens of employment. Compounding this absurdity is the suggestion that alternative energy sources that can't even rise to the level of providing a lousy 5% of our energy needs should be looked to as the "sustainable" future.

Even more hillarious is the tendancy of the "sustainable economy" crowd to not give a tinker's dam about the "sustainability" of the debt incurred sponsoring sustainable DUDS like Solyndra, etc.

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stillinsteamboat 2 years, 7 months ago

Diane Mitsch Bush does her homework. Please include her opinions. We need all the information we can get.

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Megan Walker 2 years, 7 months ago

Enacting a moratorium doesn't try to pretend that drilling isn't going to happen-(although the practice of fracking should be banned entirely, but that's another subject)- it just allows time to ensure that our HEALTH is safeguarded-that's it-there's no sinister evil plot to undermine these companies-all we want to do is protect the community. A moratorium would be beneficial to the oil companies as well; if we were able to establish certain baselines these measures would protect them as this would provide "before" and "after" pictures, thus alleviating them from responsibility from problems that are not theirs. Why WOULDN"T they want this? Are they afraid of what we would find? There is no point in debating unrelated issues here with you; clearly we have different perspectives and that's alright. But our health is worth waiting for. I will NOT defer from that. Ever.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 7 months ago

Tom Ross, Please edit your headline and article to accurately reflect the meeting. Ignoring an opposite position of the 3rd commissioner is wrong.

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fanofsteamboatsprings 2 years, 7 months ago

First to address the employment argument, as noted by the industry officials present at the meeting the vast majority of personnel used to drill and maintain a well will be brought in from other areas. They will “fill in” and attempt to train locals only as necessary. Moreover drilling the well is the most labor-intensive part of the process. Once the well is in place it is virtually self-sufficient and requires little more than routine maintenance. The effect on the county’s unemployment rate will be nominal.

Nobody at the meeting was advocating the prohibition of oil and gas drilling in the county. In fact one industry representative commented on how thoughtful and respectful the attendees were with their comments and suggestions. The common theme of a moratorium was because there is a great deal of groundwork to put in place concerning emergency plans, environmental impact studies and health and safety concerns and nobody felt the need to be rushing into this.

Quickdollar, er, Quicksilver and Shell have been through this public process hundreds of times. It is a dog and pony show to them and they factor it into their cost of doing business. In their view this is by and large a process to try and make the community feel better about them as companies and give the impression that the community actually has some say so.

With that said these companies have been buying up leases, and in the case of Quickdollar buying up thousands of acres of land in south Routt, knowing what the process could be and what the possible resolutions may come from that process. They know full well that this could be another Delaware River Basin where they have banned fracking or Santa Fe where the requirements are so onerous that nobody will attempt to apply for a permit. It is part of the gamble.

The other topic that lost traction was the formation of a working group comprised of county staff, industry representatives and citizens. This group could be very effective at sorting through many of the issues in an efficient manner. But this was largely scoffed off as something that would “slow down the process”.

The county commissioners have every right and would be well within their province to put a hold on any permits until all of the concerns can be addressed and resolved thoroughly and carefully. It is their responsibility.

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kevin fisher 2 years, 7 months ago

The zeitgeist of the meeting was one of caution and care. Many who spoke said they were for domestic exploration if it is done in a RESPONSIBLE manner.

Now, to be fair, the O&G reps professed to be for regulation and stated that they would put the county's, not the state's, approvals and concerns first. If that is truly the case then a moratorium would be appropriate and would allow us as a community to ensure our best interests are protected.

I, however, feel we're just getting the typical lip service that is to be expected from this industry. I'll use my personal example as a case-in-point. There have been hundreds of potential drill sites identified in Routt county. This year only six applications have been submitted. One of them is in my backyard (Saddle Mtn Ranchettes) in a residential community. It would be located in a visual corridor (off of 40). It would be on a visible ridge line. Heavy truck traffic would utilize a privately maintained road. Virtually all construction and surface uses of the property would be in violation of our deeded protective covenants. The area is one of the very few in the county zoned mountain residential (MRE). Etc, etc.

You see, this shows me that we need a comprehensive drilling policy in place before we start issuing SUP's to these entities. Otherwise, they will run roughshod over our community. The oil has been there for millions of years, it ain't going anywhere. Why put at risk our natural beauty, our water, our tourism and our property values when we have the ability to preserve each?

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 7 months ago

Doug Monger, You feel that county regulations are ahead of the curve on fracking? But fracking was here before you knew it. You happened upon it through a random site visit. Please revisit this vote.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 7 months ago

Why are our leaders so hellbent on rushing to extract a fuel that will be 10x more valuable to our great grandchildren?

Why are we so eager to substitute incredibly toxic chemicals for the extra work of doing this safely. This is a classic case of private sector profit achieved by excreting unaccounted toxins into the commons.

"Cheaper" for us? Only because this pollution will move slowly and may take decades to reach local wells. Our grandchildren may pay an ugly price this vote. Our commissioners should take the time to do this safely.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

American Airlines has filed Chapter 11, citing years of high fuel prices as among the most prominent reasons. AA sends a 737 and a 757 daily to YVRA during the season. It is communities like ours that will eat some of the first bullets fired from the left's punitive energy policies.

We don't rely on foreign oil because we don't have enough of our own. It is a reliance mandated by an intrusive government arbitrarily dictating which of our own resources we can and cannot extract. Colorado & Wyoming boast deposits which rival those of Saudi Arabia. Throw in the reserves beneath a rock quarry called ANWR, along with our offshore deposits, and we could easily meet our energy needs for the next century. Not to mention the job creation and economic growth that would result.

On the other hand, we could cave to the NIMBYs and continue to rely on hostile regimes for the energy we need. Prices go up and the economic hole gets even deeper.

Jet A is $7.19/gallon today at YVRA. Care to speculate what happens to our local economy when it climbs to $8, $9, or $10?

Drill, baby drill!

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 7 months ago

The argument that the industry will be responsible is undercut by the proposed drilling in Saddle Mountain which is basically a residential neighborhood. That makes it clear that the issue is not about a well here and there on this or that big parcel, but about a drilling operation and a production well in your neighborhood.

It is the exact sort of nightmare scenario that nutty environmentalists might invent to scare the public into supporting additional regulations that the industry would respond by saying it is not realistic. Well, now in Routt County that is reality and the public sees that they are nor protected.

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housepoor 2 years, 7 months ago

Why are our leaders so hell-bent on rushing to extract a fuel that will be 10x more valuable to our great grandchildren? Because the most selfish generation in history is in power and they do not like to be told what they can and cannot do or be inconvenienced regardless is if it is for the common good or their own grandchildrens wellbeing. I guess '"common good" is the termconcept they were not taught as a child or it has just been pushed aside in favor of the us vs. you political climate we live in.

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trump_suit 2 years, 7 months ago

Is it so hard to document the state of our air and water BEFORE the drilling starts? It seems to me that all sides would want this kind of baseline statistic.

Routt County residents and commissioners need this information so that we will KNOW if there is contamination from these efforts.

The Oil/Gas companies need this information so that if there are existing toxins in the environment they will not be blamed for those toxins down the road.

Bottom line is the the industry does not want these baseline results because they know without a doubt that their burn offs and processes release these heavy metal contaminants and salts into the environment. What they want to avoid is the cost of doing the extractions without these releases. After all, it is not they who will have to live here after our county becomes contaminated from their efforts.

How about we do the environmental studies first so that all parties will know and understand what is in our environment. That way when we find benzene or heavy metals in the air and water it will be clear who is at fault instead of giving the industry the standard deniability of "It wasn't us, our processes are safe. That contamination must have been there before we started."

In closing, I have no problems with developing our resources here in Routt County. I just want to be sure that in the process we don't lose the quality of our air and water. After all, it is the environment that brought most of us or our ancestors to this valley we should make sure that we leave it clean for the next generation.

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Kristopher Hammond 2 years, 7 months ago

Big Oil just wants to destroy the environment. Environmental wackos want to destroy America.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 7 months ago

"Colorado & Wyoming boast deposits which rival those of Saudi Arabia. Throw in the reserves beneath a rock quarry called ANWR, along with our offshore deposits, and we could easily meet our energy needs for the next century. Not to mention the job creation and economic growth that would result."

Sep, ask the Gulf coast residents about your "economic growth". They are still reeling from oil delivered with lax regulation, the way you would have it, and the resulting Gulf spill. Ask these folks in Wyoming how fracking will affect their economies:

http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-pa-epa-links-natural-gas-drilling-water-polluti-20111208,0,2321163.story

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Kerrie Cooper 2 years, 7 months ago

Look what is on the front of MSN news on the internet today. Gee, imagine that.

Fracking' likely polluted town's water

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/08/9302971-epa-fracking-likely-polluted-towns-water

Why again would we allow this type of technology? Remind me-- what's more important than clean water to drink, non toxic food to eat & half way clean air to breathe; the 3 main essentials to all life. Come on gas & oil I'd love to hear your justification of destroying all 3 in the name of what?

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

lewi:

You could just as easily ask the family of the woman killed by the rockfall at Mt. Harris last year (or was it the year before?) if they're still “reeling”, and use it as a justification to impose a moratorium on driving. It's an argument that would be easier to make, given that far more Americans are injured and killed on our roadways than are ever affected by oil spills. NASA and the Coast Guard estimate that oil spills and drilling accidents account for 5% of the oil entering the world's oceans. In American waters, sewage treatment plants discharge twice as much oil annually as oil spills do. If you're truly concerned about petroleum in the water, shut down the sewage treatment plants.

No activity is without risk. Accidents happen. All appropriate precautions can and should be taken to minimize the hazards. For too many on your side, the position seems to be that either we prohibit exploration and drilling, or an environmental holocaust is guaranteed.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 7 months ago

Fracking is done because it gets natural gas out of the ground. It should be able to be done safely because the gas is located below thousands of feet of layers of sedimentary rock.

Natural gas is a relatively green gas because gets so much energy for a low amount of CO2 emissions.

It can obviously be done wrong and cause problems. What happened in that Wyoming town should be of great interest here because the geology is likely to be similar. And we should be sure those mistakes are not duplicated here.

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 7 months ago

Sep, If you'll read the article and above posts, you will read the vast majority are asking that "All appropriate precautions can and should be taken to minimize the hazards".

You compare an act of nature (a rockfall) with the acts of a corporation (injecting toxins below our well water). Not even close to a logical comparison. Unfortunately 4% of all the oil entering the earth's oceans entered the Gulf 150 miles South of Louisiana. Much different problem at the source than some generic ocean sample thousands of miles away.

Now answer mine:
Why are our leaders so hell-bent on rushing to extract a fuel that will be 10x more valuable to our great grandchildren?

Why are we so eager to substitute incredibly toxic chemicals for the extra work of doing this safely.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

lewi:

The future worth of the product is utterly meaningless. If I had applied that calculus in my late 20's, I would never have driven my cherry '65 Barracuda, as it would have been considerably more valuable to my descendants, had it been carefully stored instead of driven daily. Apparently, I was too selfish to care.

I'm a little surprised you're so baffled (or would 'outraged' be a more appropriate characterization?) by the motivations behind the initiative: supply and demand. If there wasn't a need – read: a market – for it, we wouldn't be having this conversation. A viable market=profit for the company and tax revenue for the municipality. If that offends your sensibilities, that's your problem. Energy production is at the core of our economy, and has no little impact on national security. And whether or not you're willing to credit the mustache-twirling villains you see lurking in boardrooms and council chambers, their efforts can improve both, and I commend them for it.

And if nobody sees a rockfall at Mt. Harris, does it really happen? The unfortunate victim would never have have been struck had she not been driving a car produced by an evil corporation requiring her pay another soulless corporate entity to fuel it. The analogy isn't nearly as disconnected as you pretend.

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stagecoacher 2 years, 7 months ago

There are Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics - to paraphrase a great man. This one is for you Sep. Jet A fuel prices for Colorado:

Steamboat Springs (KSBS) $5.46 Craig (KCAG) $5.43 Meeker (KEEO) $5.30 Rifle (KRIL) $6.70 Eagle (KEGE) $6.98 Aspen (KASE) $7.69 Kremmling (20V) $6.50 Grand Junction (KGJT) $5.90 Grandby (KGNB) $5.30 Walden (33V) $6.15

Front Range Airports:

Eire (KEIK) $4.99 Longmont (KLMO) $4.99 Jefco (aka Rocky Mtn Metro) (KBJC) $6.72 Centennial (KAPA) $4.17

As you can see Hayden (KHDN) has the second highest fuel price in the region (second only to Aspen) in the region. The high price at Hayden has more to do with lack of competion rather than high energy prices.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

Great points, Sep, well said!

My favorite line in these comments, besides the fact that two county commisioners were bribed to vote against a moratorium, and the third...well...wasn't offered enough or something is oneworld's reeducation camp idea.Geologists, geophysicists, truck drivers, mudloggers and such all reeducted to do something sustainable like growing potatoes or something. ( even though I've taken liberties with the actual words, who cares....it's not that far off...you can't make this stuff up) Then there is the panicky declaration the EPA, led by the trustworthy, brilliant Lisa Jackson has found pollution in wells in WY. Preliminary first of all, secondly below health and safety standards, thirdly drilling took place in an atypical setting.... Stagecoacher, AA said it was fuel costs that caused them to file chapter 11, so what if it was 5 something rather than 7 something. Lewi, how do you know all possible precautions aren't being taken?

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

stagecoacher:

That there's only one fueler at YVRA is a factor. So is transportation and proximity to supply. Ohare's price today is $8.93. Laguardia $7.43. LAX $7.68. Logan $8.22. Minneapolis $8.43. San Fran $7.83. Seattle $7.33. Most of these fields have more than one fueler; I selected the lowest price in those instances.

Am I a liar, a damn liar, or a statistician? Enquiring minds...

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stagecoacher 2 years, 7 months ago

Sure, you picked all class Bravo fields above, quoting the Jet A price that general aviation pays (not the airlines). The FBOs at class Bravo fields are notorious for high fuel prices, exceptional ramp fees, and staggering tie down/hanger fees. Comparing LAX, DEN, MSP, ORD, LGA, BLS, SFO, SEA to lowly HDN (a small non towered field with a single iLS that goes unmonitored half the time) is like comparing apples to grapes. Just for a point of refence the average price for Jet A in the US is $5.46 this week (down $.03 from last week). Using a single data point that is 131% higher than the average makes for quite the obfuscation.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

The extreme greens do not want fossil fuels. Not even much cleaner ones like Nat Gas. Most everyone can see that. What a lot of folks still can't accept and what the radical greens deny vehemently is that they are actually opposed to ALL energy production.

They killed the worlds largest proposed solar facility in Neveda a few years ago.

In 2005, under pressure from radical greens, the EPA ruled that Yucca Mt could not store radiactive waste until it presented a comprehensive plan to manage the waste for ONE MILLION YEARS, more than 200 times the length of all human history!

Outspoken global warming activist Robert Kennedy, Jr helped kill a 130-turbine windfarm off the coast of cape Cod.

Ethanol is now being opposed by the Sierra Club on the grounds that it is more trouble than it is worth, something rational people tried to tell them two decades ago. The list of "green" energy projects killed by radical greens is long indeed.

It seems that ALL energy use is unsustainable to the greens. Ditto for logging, mining, farming and transportation of goods to market.

But many people are skeptical. Why, they wonder, would greens oppose "sustainable" forms of energy? Simple... Because making cheap, abundant energy available would result in booming economic growth worldwide, and that's the LAST thing radical greens want. The masses are not supposed to get on airplanes, drive long distances, take exotic vacations, use scarce resources... heavens no! In medieval days princes and kings traveled in luxury, reviewing their kingdom and observing the loyal peasants as they labored to ensure the wealth of the royalty. Today, we once again find ourselves on the "Road to Serfdom", and the radical greens will say and do anything to keep us on this straight and narrow road to economic perdition.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

Full disclosure: the prices cited by stagecoacher and myself are retail. The airlines typically pay a lower contract rate. Regardless, the 11,000+ gallons it may take to fuel a 757 costs what it costs. Rising prices are rising prices, whether retail or otherwise, as the_Lizard has pointed out.

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stagecoacher 2 years, 7 months ago

Actually, Sep, the airports you listed above only have one fueler available (talking retail here). In fact, of the 8 airports you listed, 6 have FBO's run by the same company, Signature. Signature FBO's are notorious for gouging. Retail fuel prices have less to do with distribution costs etc and more to do with convenience and on-field competition.

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Megan Walker 2 years, 7 months ago

Excuse me, Lizard, but in NO way did I imply that anyone was paid. All I was doing was questioning WHY only 2 of the 3 commisioners views were spoken of in the article. There is no denying that was misrepresentation. I aim to offend no one but please do not put words in my mouth. We will never accomplish anything this way. This is something that we all have the right to get fired up about sure, but that doesn't mean we need to close our minds & insult each other. I'm open to your point of view; as long as you are respectful about it. All I'm doing is advocating for safeguards. Yes, my feelings go deeper than that, but I am not forcing those on anyone. Surely, you have family; and surely, they live here in the valley-don't you want them to have a safe & secure future? Not to mention safeguard basic human rights for yourself & the community? This is not to much to ask. The proof of the dangers are all over the latest headlines. Irrefutable evidence is readily available.

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Megan Walker 2 years, 7 months ago

Hey, I've got an idea. How about if we all stop trying to pidgeonhole and label people as "radical greens" or what have you, and just realize that some people desire safety and health over profit, and leave the name-calling for the playground. Townspeople are divided, ranchers are divided, leaders are divided; many of US are divided over the issue. I realize this is a very divisive issue, with valid points coming from both sides.But we are all trying to do what's best, right? This might sound really crazy, but what if we all tried to compromise?? Radical, I know, but we can't expect to all believe the same things; let's work for a common ground. I'll consider your point if you will consider mine.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

oneworld:

It appears the_Lizard has gotten you mixed up with lovestoread and Kyle Elston, both of whom jumped in with explicit allegations of bribery immediately following your initial salvo. Looks like an honest mistake to me.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Yea Oneworld, That's what we should do... Instead of calling radical environmentalists "greens" let's call them "safety-conscious". Then, by default let's label people who are for the production of affordable energy "profiteers", "greedy" or "environmentally reckless". That will steer the debate along a neutral path...

I HAVE considered the greens point... but not ONE of them has EVER been able to tell me what exactly is the earth's ideal temperature. And if we don't know what that is, how can we know that "Global Warming" is bad??? A few degrees warmer might be "just what the doctor ordered", globally speaking, no??? Furthermore, we know that the earth warmed and cooled MANY times before mans "carbon footprint" existed but not ONE of the radical greens has EVER admitted that the same thing might now be occurring.

I am not at odds with those who seek safeguards and common sense precautions. The mindless objection to the production of highly in-demand energy is what I oppose.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

Thanks Sep, my complex and poorly written run on sentence was the problem,. Oneworld I said my favorite line besides the pay silliness was your reeducation statement,. In other words I never said the pay idea was yours, just the reeducation thing. Yes, my family wants a safe and secure future, work is part of that safe and secure future, I find it insulting that you, a onewworlder, would put them in reeducation camps. What sustainable thing do you do which requires no plentiful and affordable energy?

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Kerrie Cooper 2 years, 7 months ago

Here's yet another story about the link of fracking to water contamination on Yahoo News today. "EPA theorizes fracking-pollution link"

http://news.yahoo.com/apnewsbreak-epa-theorizes-fracking-pollution-211055287.html

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the cause and effects,. Now there are earthquakes in places without a history of earthquakes, coincidentally with recent fracking wells in the area. I don't understand how people can think you drill thousands of feet into the earth, pumping all kinds of crap into the ground and there will not be negative side effects. (I guess it goes back to our total disconnection to the earth & somehow our sick ability to justify anything)

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Steve Lewis 2 years, 7 months ago

Sep, Sorry, but your comments are impossible to take seriously. You dismiss core chunks of the both the issue and reality:

1) "The future worth of the product is utterly meaningless." You believe that?

2) paraphrasing, "We are willing to substitute incredibly toxic chemicals rather than extend the extra effort of doing this safely because... someone will make a profit that way." Risking polluted ground water is o.k. with you, if someone profits from it.

3) "The mindless objection to the production of highly in-demand energy is what I oppose."

Have it your way.

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the_Lizard 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe he's not a rocket scientist, lovestr, but according to a seismic reasearcher with the OK Geological Survey, Ausin Holland if some seismic activity is anthropogenic it is as inconsequential a a "mosquito bite" because of the small size of the quakes.

"The magnitude-5.6 quake that rocked Oklahoma three miles underground had the power of 3,800 tons of TNT, which is nearly 2,000 times stronger than the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The typical energy released in tremors triggered by fracking, "is the equivalent to a gallon of milk falling off the kitchen counter," said Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback. In Oklahoma, home to 185,000 drilling wells and hundreds of injection wells, the question of man-made seismic activity comes up quickly. But so far, federal, state and academic experts say readings show that the Oklahoma quakes were natural, following the lines of a long-known fault. http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2011/11/07/experts_okla_quakes_too_powerful_to_be_man_made/

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, Pilot, for correcting the information in this story. Too bad it wasn't correct the first time, and took public commentary to point this out. Can we hope for sharper pencils in further articles about this issue?

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1999 2 years, 7 months ago

SEDGMENO..i think it's more about honesty than sharp pencils

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

This issue begs for more reporting, and more verifiable information all around.

Pilot staff, why aren't we at least seeing a point/counterpoint style of commentary in this paper? Or county wide interviews? Letters of position from the commissioners (like Diane provided)? Editorials from Shell and Quicksilver? Interviews with people from Pavilion, or Rifle? Information proving how strong or weak our county regulations are in comparison with other communities? A cost/benefit analysis? Indication of how many private leases have been transferred in the past 12 months and their dollar value? How can folks find and buy back the rights under their land, if possible? What sites are next in the "pipeline", and how many? Show us some success stories? How much tax income returns to the county from sales and development of mineral rights? There's a classified ad now in your paper for a water truck driver to haul water to a processing facility... where and what is that facility? We don't need to reinvent the wheel and can learn much from what is happening around us. Where are your local reporters and why are you republishing pieces from the Denver Post?

Just wondering.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 7 months ago

lewi:

  1. Absolutely.

  2. You've “parapharas[ed]” ('fabricated' would be more accurate) convictions and statements I have never held or expressed.

  3. You've indicted me (in your mind) for a statement made by another member on this board.

I couldn't be more gratified that you find me “impossible to take seriously.” Considering the source, I am exhilarated to wear your derision like a badge of honor.

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kathy foos 2 years, 7 months ago

As far as I have read on the subject of the amount of oil in Routt county,no one has said in an official way.Sledneck says that there is enough oil for hundreds of years,that a mis-statement Im SURE.There are known fields just over the divide,but how does Sledneck know how much oil is here?Clairvoyant?Oil industry experts say peak oil is over,and now you think Routt county can save the world with all of the oil beneath us and you have no facts to support that,just an unreasonable will to produce oil in Routt county come hell or benezene polluted high water.That old attitude is just lame and old fashioned.Its a waste of time to read your comments Sledneck,what are you doing living up here in the clean mountains anyway?You belong in Texas.You and Sep are enviromental haters,haters never look or sound good.You do NOT know how much oil is below us,you are projecting and misleading with that statement.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Sun, Where shall the world get the energy it demands?

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

Sled, how can we collect the eggs without destroying the chickens and the hen house?

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rhys jones 2 years, 7 months ago

Another digression for y'all to chaw and spit out:

I'm a recent fan of geothermal -- drill a hole deep enough, and the Earth's core energy will drive the turbines and heat our homes and sidewalks and streets.

Keep it down, it could be bad for my other business.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

What if we can't protect every single chicken? What if a few chickens simply must give their all?

Shall all Americans then forever abstain from eating omlets?

And even if we do so for the noble cause of chickenism (or chick-anity) (or to prevent hen house warming), do we really think the entire world will hold chickens in similarly high regard? Only the truly naive among us would believe that a burgeoning and hungry world population would consider swearing-off omlets in deference to a few chickens.

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

Sled, a few chickens have already given their all, and maybe a few more will have to, but without a wise farmer we could lose the eggs, the chickens, the henhouse, and all future production of what had been a sustainable enterprise.

If our goal is harvesting eggs, we should be able to plan to save the chickens, no?

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

And a wise and honorable farmer is to be found among the ranks of... the gubbamint?

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Sedgemo, I just remembered... Great news!! We don't need to find a benevolent farmer after all. We don't need any chickens or even a hen house!

It turns out that we have a wonderful neighbor, a friend, who has offered to set us up with a link to his egg supply (and he has a HUGE, reliable egg supply) He is willing to take all the risks and we just buy the eggs from him! Ain't that grand??!!!!

But curiously President Obama rejected the proposed "egg conveyor belt" that was to be built to get the eggs from our neighbors farm down here to our kitchen where we can "refine" the eggs into omlets.

It was rejected even though building the "egg conveyor" would create 20,000 jobs. Can you justify that for me, Sedgemo?

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

Only if they are representing the will of the people, as they should. No foxes should be guarding the henhouse ;-)

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

Per the conveyor, I think it was going to leave a trail of poop and rotten eggs across too many backyards. My understanding is they are investigating rerouting, so let's not count all those eggs as unhatched quite yet.

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Crossing the ogalala aquifer was the main objection. It is already crossed by something like 54 pipelines (none of which would be as up-to-date). And those who use ogalala as an excuse should be prepared to tell us why that if they cherish it so they are draining it to produce ethanol???...

And if there was concern for the property rights of so many along the way I sure wish those concerns would spill over to the currently raging debate over emminent domain; a debate that has found leftists on the WRONG side for years. Have they now "found religion" out here on the ogalala?????

When it comes to the big energy production picture you are on the wrong side of this, Sedgemo. Search your heart.

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

Sled, I'm not on a side, just looking at what I see. I'm not as informed as you are but have always thought ethanol was a bogus idea. When dealing with aquifers, remember we always fight over water in the west.

A hundred years ago your arguments would be more well received. We've seen Exxon Valdez, BP, and more closer to home (Sand Creek seep comes to mind), so the law of unintended consequences has made itself comfortable in and on our more-and-more crowded planet.

I spent some years in the NRG field so have seen good and bad results first hand. The good seems to be shorter-lived. We have to find better answers all around. I think this is worth aiming for. How 'bout you?

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sledneck 2 years, 7 months ago

Man will never reach a point at which his abilities mirror his aspirations. NEVER.

Accidents have happened and will continue to happen. The benefits of energy production and consumption have and will continue to outweigh the costs of occaisional accidents.

We should indeed always strive to find safer, cleaner methods in all our endeavors; but we should not run away from fossil fuels just because they come with a cost.

Everything comes with a cost.

Sit back and consider the staggering cost of a world without fossil fuels... It would be back to the stone-age.

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sedgemo 2 years, 7 months ago

FROM THE PETITION

  1. Neil and Mary Talbott Dec 14, 2011 Colorado Springs, CO We in El Paso County are faced with the same situation and are thankful that the Colorado Springs City Council has just implemented a 6-month moratorium so that local rules can be enacted. Good local rules can protect the public, environmental quality and the long-term future of Colorado.
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