sedgemo

sedgemo 2 years, 2 months ago on Our View: City should have acted

Aren't you all sort of missing the point that these are MOBILE phones? By definition there isn't a single location of usage. I use mine everywhere and do not have a desk job in town. I don't live in town either but have an 80487 mailing address (no mailbox where I live) and have been unknowingly paying this tax for over two years.

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sedgemo 2 years, 2 months ago on Steve Lewis: Is fracking safe?

Fred, I keep hearing the USA is a NET EXPORTER of oil these days, so don't see how that squares with you saying "low availability" at all. We do have folks (probably not many you'd define as Liberals) hoarding oil to sell at presumed profit later, perfectly legal but certainly not left wing. Artificially escalating prices hurts everyone, but lower-income people more, and businesses (like yours) that have to feed your trucks.

I'm not especially hopeful, either, but can't see the right or the left have anything like a useful direction forward for our country. Both seem to be primarily defining themselves as the opposite of the other. We've all simply got to get off the us/them polarity or indeed, we are doomed. If we can get our heads together, pointing in more or less the same direction, there's a far better prospect of an improved future (or any future) for all of us.

Liz, have to take issue with your idea of a "level playing field" as concerns fracking. Homeowners (who aren't miners and never thought about mineral rights until lately) face an immense array of life-altering disruptions from fracking. Ask the folks living next door to Wolf Mtn. if they feel it's a level playing field. I doubt you'd be surprised at their answer. They have no rights (even their covenants are ignored) and may as well not exist in the eyes of the industry at this time.

Canyon, the trouble with fracking is nobody can live without fresh water. The total amount of water we will ever have is here, NOW. We can live without money (or keep printing more) but unless we can convert all our oceans to fresh water, everyone breathing depends on the fresh water available now. Once it's trashed, its gone for good unless we can find some way to get the persistent (unidentified) fracking compounds out of it. That's a nearly impossible, expensive task. Our municipal water treatment plants can't even filter out most prescription drugs running through our bodies now. It's obviously far better for all concerned to keep it clean in the first place, or at least be scrupulously careful about the quantities that we contaminate.

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sedgemo 2 years, 2 months ago on Some Routt County residents wrongly paying Steamboat sales tax

Bellyup, just got my Verizon bill, and it shows a line item charge identified as: Steamboat Sprgs City Sales Tax, $2.43.

I have an 80487 address but do not live in the city limits, been the same teh whole time I've had a Verizon phone, over two years now. Guess I'll be gathering up my bills and heading to town for a refund soon!

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sedgemo 2 years, 2 months ago on Steve Lewis: Is fracking safe?

Liz, thanks for your kind words. I really do feel like I'm flailing around. These questions are enormous and very likely to split our community apart. I see it as a classic duel between types of property rights.

Mineral rights owners have a right to sell/extract but not destroy surface owner's rights (unless they happen to own both and want to live on a drill pad).

Surface rights owners have the right to expect their existing quality of life to remain unaltered, but have no legal right to prohibit extraction. I'm not sure how it all would shake out if fracking fluids started bubbling up in our hot springs. Are those considered mineral rights?

Scott, the issue of "trade secrets" does have a dark side. If chemicals are not disclosed, and nearby people's wells suddenly become open gas lines or benzene supply lines, the drillers have an "out" by being able to say the wells might have contained those compounds PRIOR to drilling/fracking. This is a pattern which has been repeated in several states now, in a game of "blame the victim" buy the silence of a few and move on.

Perhaps one answer would be to require a traceable dye or benign tracking chemical as a sort of fingerprint in all fracking compounds, like those used to monitor water leaks and point-source water pollution trails. Each separate company could have a different "fingerprint" which would help trace any trouble to it's rightful source. It would all be after the fact but would at least provide a trail to the source.

In an earlier post I wrote that if these chemicals are really benign, then it isn't the chemical itself that should be considered a trade secret, but rather the "recipes" used, which could easily enough remain proprietary. The chemicals themselves, though, should be made public. O & G folks have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by easing non-industry folks' understandable fears. If they are using toxic compounds, then those fears are well justified.

Also, there are problems with comparisons, mostly because there are so few baselines, and from the link I posted again below (and other sources) Colorado has 37,586 total wells shown in 2009, and 19 staff. On BLM land it shows 19 staff for 5,387 wells in 2008. That's very few people to collect and compare data from that number of wells. From the RCC report it was mentioned the COGCC staff has a goal of inspecting every existing well site once in 10 years. The system we have is not timely enough to manage any mistakes in a timely manner.

Here's the link again, it didn't post correctly the first time, sorry.

http://projects.propublica.org/gas-drilling-regulatory-staffing/states/CO

If that one doesn't work, here's a parent link:

http://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-wests-energy-boom-could-threaten-drinking-water-for-1-in-12-america

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sedgemo 2 years, 2 months ago on Steve Lewis: Is fracking safe?

Liz, I agree a balanced series with credible reporters would be very welcome here.

Per spills, I think the obvious truths are: spills happen, most get reported. The issue isn't that they get reported but the unknowns surrounding the results, which becomes a surface right issue.

Maybe that lawyer you mentioned would step up and write a few articles for the paper?

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sedgemo 2 years, 2 months ago on Steve Lewis: Is fracking safe?

http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/epa-grilled-over-pavillion-report?utm_source=wcn1&utm_medium=email

I came across this article today, just passing it on FYI.

I keep coming back to this thought. Owners of mineral rights have the right to the extract (remove) those resources from where they lie, not ADD unidentified concoctions in their place (some studies have indicated only about half the fracking liquids are returned topside - I'm sure it varies with the geology). They didn't purchase the right to devalue surface resources or issues (spills, traffic, wells, water taps, air quality, property values), and without the assist from Mr. Cheney would never have. Those costs are rightly part of the cost of doing this business, surface rights owners should not be left holding the bag.

If these extraction procedures are no-risk, then why dodge federal regs. designed to keep air, water etc. fit for life? If there's that much profit in extracting the resource compliance with regs. surely it wouldn't put much of a dent in the bottom line to respect the property rights of others, especially if we are a net exporter of oil?

Seems to me the burden of proof should be on those whose actions have the greatest potential to do the greatest harm to other's legally owned surface rights.

(caveat: I own no surface or mineral rights).

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