Routt County's proposal would have required energy companies to check for pollutants in new monitoring wells between the oil wells and water wells.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday will consider whether to sign off on a grading and excavating permit for a road that has already been built to accommodate future oil drilling on Wolf Mountain Ranch east of Hayden.
Quicksilver stated it was asking for a continuance so it can acquire the appropriate permits for a road that already has been built on the property.
Brent Romick, who represents Wolf Mountain Ranch, confirmed that the new road to the oil well and its pad already has been built without final county approval.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the new oil well with baseline testing on two neighboring water wells as a condition of approval.
If last week’s Routt County Planning Commission meeting is any indication, a group of residents that advocates for personal property rights will be on hand Tuesday night during a hearing for a new Shell Oil well permit.
Three of the four candidates from Northwest Colorado whose views most closely matched up with the goals of Citizens were defeated in the election.
Planning commissioners on Thursday recommended that Shell Oil be required to build a subsurface water quality monitoring well between the well’s bore hole and six domestic water wells in the vicinity.
House District 26 candidate Diane Mitsch Bush said she felt vindicated upon learning that the state is considering new rules on water quality testing for oil wells. Her opponent, Republican Chuck McConnell, argued that developing the state's many natural resources without burdensome regulations is the quickest way to boost the economy.
Tuesday's meeting will offer case studies from other western communities like Sublette County, Wyo., where a natural gas boom led to a 20 percent increase in the population.
The outcome of the Nov. 6 election has the potential to shift county government’s regulatory outlook on permitting oil and gas wells, but it would take time for any policy changes to be noticed.
Chuck McConnell says "Oil and gas creates jobs today — these are high-paying jobs," while Diane Mitsch Bush counters that "Research and experience show small businesses are the job creators."
Much of the friction has come from frustration over the approval process for permitting new oil and gas wells and some residents’ inability to collect royalties.
Mike King, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, rejected any notion that the state’s recent lawsuit filed against the city of Longmont signals that the governor’s office is not looking out for local communities in energy matters.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners will consider approving a reimbursement agreement with Shell Oil on Tuesday for $354,217 in improvements to County Road 65 needed for the approved Gnat Hill well.