Category Archives: COGCC

18Nov/15
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Time for a Ballot Initiative

I spent Monday at the COGCC rule making hearing for recommendations 17 and 20 from the rigged Governor’s Task Force.  After political maneuvering took away our hopes of a ballot initiative last fall, we were left with a task force loaded with industry and supporters.

There were 2 recommendations from the task force that might have provided a little, limited relief to citizens.  However, even that was too much for COGCC and the industry allow. We are now left with rules that bear little resemblance to the original recommendations. As currently written, they will result in even more placement of wells next to our homes, schools and businesses.  Cities and counties will have no power to stop them.

The day was spent with witnesses testifying.  The commissioners sat with bored expressions on their faces and some spent the time on their phones and computers.

Industry and supporters spent their time raging against a sentence in the proposed rules which put a time limit on the how long the drilling and fracking processes can take.

The other side of the equation was the citizens and activist groups. There were many new activists at the meeting.  (Every time a new area is fracked, more activists are born.) All of these new activists go through a stage, just as I did, hopeful that they can find the right words to reach those in power.

It was heart wrenching to watch people testify and pour out their hearts in a plea for mercy while I sat there with the knowledge that the game is already rigged against them. People came from across the state to tell their stories: Battlement Mesa, Paonia, Thornton, Wadley Farms, Greeley and Pleasant View.  Boulder County and Adams County Commissioners came to plead for their citizens.

A few months ago several of us came to the realization that the COGCC doesn’t care and will never protect us.  CAF staged a walk out at the stakeholders meeting in Greeley, letting them know we are aware that they don’t care.

So, I didn’t bother to prepare any remarks.  I didn’t bore them further with tales of the latest health studies.  I didn’t tell them about fear for my grandchildren.

The task force was a bust.  We knew it would not give us any relief from the dangers of fracking.  Our governor and the COGCC don’t care and won’t act to protect us.

Now we will take the next step.  We will band together and get a ballot initiative on the ballot next fall.  Then we will work with our partners to get it passed.  It is time to send the fossil fuel industry into the fossil bin where it belongs.  It is time for a renewable, sustainable future.  We will build it together.

04Aug/15
Micah delivers declaration in Greeley watermark

Declaration Rejecting the Legitimacy of COGCC

Below is the new Declaration Rejecting the legitimacy of the COGCC. On August 3rd this was delivered to Matt LePore, Director of COGCC, at a hearing in Greeley. As we prepared for the hearings, we realized that no matter what we said when we testify, how many personal stories of harm people experienced, or how many scientific studies we give them, they are unfazed. The COGCC is serving as a rubber stamp agency for the this Extreme Extraction Industry and doesn’t care that communities are being polluted. It is time to say ENOUGH. Join us as we continue to tell COGCC, the Governor and Legislators that they cannot continue to put our communities in harms way

Declaration Rejecting the Legitimacy of the
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

Whereas:
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has failed in its mission to:

“protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens and
protect the welfare of the environment and wildlife resources”.

We, Coloradans Against Fracking, find it necessary to reject the authority of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to make decisions that negatively impact our health, our air, our water, and our land, or violate the will of the voters seeking to protect their health, air quality, water quality, or property from the impacts of oil and gas extraction. Therefore, it is our duty to continue to work to genuinely protect the people, wildlife and the environment of the state of Colorado.

Addendum

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Mission Statement:
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was created “to foster oil and gas development in the state of Colorado while protecting public health, safety, and welfare, including the protection and welfare of the environment and wildlife resources.”

Nothing about the current heavy industrial processes used to extract oil and gas is compatible with maintaining public health, safety and welfare or protecting the environment and wildlife resources. Toxic air pollution, explosions, fires, earthquakes, and toxic spills contaminating ground water & polluting rivers and streams all continue to occur. As drilling and transport of raw materials and waste increases, so does the incidence of “accidents”. The COGCC’s actions and regulations have not stopped the spills, accidents or earthquakes. Compatibility between this heavy, toxic industry and public health, safety and welfare is not possible within such close proximity of human activity.

Research, studies, data:
The dangerously irresponsible actions taken, or not taken, by the COGCC are not from a lack of competence. They are the result of selective interpretation by the COGCC of the edict written by the Colorado legislature defining their duty. By choosing to define their mission from the industry’s point of view, the COGCC gives themselves permission to ignore scientific documentation, data and empirical observation that prove toxic, adverse effects to our air, water, soil, health and property caused by oil & gas development: and to reference only studies solicited by and for industry when creating rules and regulations. The COGCC chooses to ignore the many peer reviewed, scientific studies made available to them. What may be the most offensive and harmful action of all, is that members of the COGCC choose to ignore the many personal testimonies of Coloradans who have been harmed by oil & gas development.

Process:
The actions of the COGCC demonstrate that the processes established to provide opportunity for public input and participation are intended only to create a false sense of security for the public; a facade meant to lure a trusting public into submission and complacency – with the secondary purpose of deflecting any and all who might challenge the authority of the COGCC to permit drilling when and wherever the industry chooses. Any comment, criticism or testimony that is not in support of the industry may be listened to, but are ultimately ignored.

Regulation:
COGCC regulations, insistently touted as the strongest in the country, are empty words created to provide a false sense of security. Monitoring and reporting is largely left to the industry with notice given in advance of inspection. Self-regulation amounts to no regulation. Token fines may be imposed in instances when a fine is legally required. These minimum fines are often dismissed when the company accepts the choice of performing community service. Here the COGCC has been consistent. They regularly apply no fine or a minimum fine for industry violations.

Coloradans Against Fracking says enough.

We, the people, simply cannot and will not recognize the legitimacy of a commission whose actions are detrimental to our health and safety, and to the health and safety of future generations. By both their actions and inaction, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission constantly and consistently fails to fulfill its mission and by doing so, fails to protect us, the residents of the state they are charged with protecting.

Therefore, Coloradans Against Fracking must, in all moral conscience, reject any authority the failed Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission claims to hold, and will continue to work to truly protect the citizens, wildlife and the environment of the state of Colorado.