Harry Thompson: On the right track

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I am very pleased that Routt County’s Chris Brookshire noted during Thursday’s Planning Commission oil and gas work session that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s local government designee program was “thorough and working well.”

This is welcome news. The county staff using the program means the county less likely is moving toward litigation and more likely moving toward working collaboratively with the governor and the state. Brookshire deserves credit for making full use of the program. Best of all, property rights advocates and taxpayers’ pocketbooks can breathe a sigh of relief.

Colorado state law provides a specific channel through which local governments can assert their prerogatives and preferences in the decisions that state oil and gas regulators make about energy production in their jurisdiction. This process is called the local government designee process — it gives local governments special standing before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and it also reserves the right of local jurisdictions to appeal the decisions of state regulators. In other communities this position provides an avenue for local governments to shape decisions about oil and gas development.

Our Citizens Supporting Property Rights group has advocated for our county to use this position and have a very involved local government designee. It is great to see that the county is using the program and moving forward in a positive manner.

Comments

Stuart Orzach 1 year, 10 months ago

 The CSPR group should more appropriately be referred to as Citizens Supporting Their Own Mineral Rights At The Expense Of Surface Rights Owners, Property Owners, and All Routt County Citizens Who Breathe, Drink, And Live.

 As long as the  State's enforcement agency is woefully understaffed and ineffective, the LGD, and the newly concocted LGD process, will remain impotent, Planning Staff's opinion notwithstanding.

 The content of Mr. Thompson's letter is more of the same carefully crafted but misleading propaganda that his group, and industry representatives delivered during the better part of Thursday's three hour meeting.
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Scott Wedel 1 year, 10 months ago

Stuart, Well since CSPR has not actually opposed Routt County's rules.

They seem to think Routt County's rules have nothing to do with being well-advised scientifically based protections for neighbors and the larger community, but are just the first step towards a goal of banning all drilling.

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Bill Wallace 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm taking a cue from local defense attorney Chris Hammond's recent "tongue-in-cheek" letter to the editor about supporting the proposed Sleeping Giant Casino. Chris figured that the resulting increased crime rate would bring him more business.

With a motive similar to Chris's, I fully support all out, pedal-to-the-metal oil and gas drilling throughout Routt County. Heck, we need this energy! I say, go for it! We don't need no stinkin' monitoring wells. One's probably enough. Maybe let's just test the drinking water once in a while. Then if we find something, then we'll take care of it. Anyway, nothin's gonna happen. We know that these oil and gas folks always do the right thing.

So, thank you Citizens Supporting Property Rights group for helping restore my old business. You see, in my former career I led a national engineering organization that cleaned up hazardous waste sites, places where companies dumped toxic wastes without a clue of what might happen if this stuff ever got into ground and surface water. We made oodles of money treating groundwater, digging up contaminated soils, developing alternate water supplies, and other stuff. These companies figured they could do whatever they wanted with these wastes because it was done on their property, that is, until the neighbors started to complain.

Now, I'm gonna just sit back and wait. Extracting oil and gas through fracking is a low margin operation. Not enough money in it to put in proper controls and sufficient monitoring. Monitoring far from possible sources means that they'll be lots of contaminated area before anyone knows about it. That works for me! I'll be back in the hazardous site clean up business and the Citizens Supporting Property Rights group will be busy explaining why their property rights take precedent over their neighbor's property rights.

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