The oil drilling boom along Colorado’s Front Range is generating a lot of tax revenue for cash-strapped governments. But it’s also putting a strain on state regulators whose job it is to make sure all the drilling and well sites aren’t polluting.
During that time, the city will undertake a study of the potential impacts of gas and oil exploration and production, the city’s current zoning structures, Loveland’s legal standing as a regulator of the industry, and the drafting of new zoning and land use rules.
By Mark Ruffalo, denverpost.com
Every day, mothers take hundreds of little actions to keep their children out of harm’s way, from steering them away from traffic to keeping toxic household cleaners out of reach. When you add it all up, it’s a heroic body of work.
But every once in awhile, mothers will do something so extraordinary to ensure the safety of their children that it alters the way we think about our world. Four mothers in Erie, Colo., are attempting to accomplish just that, and in doing so they will help expose the truth about natural gas.
By Scott Rochat, Longmont Times-Call
LONGMONT — Longmont’s proposed oil and gas rules drew a simple response from the industry and the state: You don’t want them, you don’t need them and you can’t enforce them.
Letters released Tuesday from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office urged the city to drop some or all of its new rules. COGA, an industry group, called the regulations “unnecessary and overreaching,” arguing that the existing state system already protects local interests.
At last! I’ve attempted to finalize and send this fracking column since November, but other topics kept grabbing my heart: Al Again, Sears, stories, songs, “Quarterback heartbreak” and so on, and thank you Dean Lehman and Times-Call for allowing me to speak my mind and my heart on your Opinion Page, and thank you Rob Spencer for your skillful, light-handed, considerate editing.
On April 30, Katherin Engelhard touted the safety of fracking. From her self-proclaimed “extensive research” she quoted, “In 65 years of hydraulic fracturing of 1.2 million wells, there’s no proven case of its contaminating drinking water.”
BOULDER — Boulder County’s temporary moratorium on accepting and processing applications to drill for oil and gas in unincorporated parts of the county will remain in place through Feb. 4, 2013, county commissioners decided Monday.
On Feb. 2, the commissioners enacted a six-month drilling-permit moratorium that was set to expire on Aug. 2.
The draft before the City Council removes a ban on waste disposal facilities inside city limits, makes closed-loop systems a recommended instead of a required option for drillers, and cuts out a recommendation to use “green” fracking fluids.
According to city officials, most changes were made to avoid clashes with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state’s regulatory body.
Video of News Coverage, Fox 31, Denver
Posted on: 11:01 pm, March 14, 2012, by Tammy Vigil
ERIE, Colo. — The controversial natural gas drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing in Colorado is getting some attention at the federal level.
Congressman Jared Polis visited with some Erie residents about their concerns over the safety of fracking.
Last week, Erie enacted an immediate six-month moratorium on new gas drill permits.
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study said the propane levels in the air in Erie are worse than in Los Angeles and Houston.
It’s the air and a host of other issues that brought out Congressman Jared Polis to talk to residents.
“This oil and gas has been under the ground for millions of years. They need to take a time out and show me scientific proof this is safe,” says Boulder County resident Rod Brueske.
He and his family moved to the country from Denver a year ago, for the fresh air, a slower pace and better quality of life for his kids.
It’s bad. You breathe like fumes and stuff,” says his 5-year-old son.
But Brueske fears fracking will ruin all of it.
Fracking pumps water and chemicals underground at high pressure to crack rock and release oil and natural gas.
“It’s a threat to my family’s dream. Ooh,” he says as he staves off tears. “It’s a threat to our health and safety. And you can’t put a price on somebody’s dream. You can’t put a price tag on health,” he says.
It’s those fracking fears bringing Polis to visit Brueske and others whose homes are about 100 feet from a completed mining site.
Thick, blackish smoke poured out of it last summer.
It’s clearer now. But some say it is still potentially dangerous.
“Those hydrocarbon vapors are poisonous fumes, that as you can tell, the wind is blowing toward us and blowing toward homes only 100 feet away,” says Shane Davis of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Sierra Club.
Mothers are worried.
“So they breathe this here at home. Then they go to school. There’s no escape for these kids; there’s no escape,” says April Beach, a mother of three boys. She says one of them developed asthma after the well was finished.
Polis is sympathetic to families who say they didn’t move here for city-like problems.
“You shouldn’t have to have fracking in your backyard. Colorado is wide open. The country is wide open. There are huge tracks of land where it’s not 300 feet from a daycare center or backyard,” says Polis.
The Democratic Congressman from Boulder has introduced two fracking bills–both would require oil and gas companies to abide by the federal Clean Air and Safe Water Act.
And he’s still drafting another requiring fracking be a certain distance from daycares and schools.
The oil and gas industry insists fracking is safe. It claims it follows numerous state and federal regulations.
“…especially the alkanes” Were the exact words published regarding the air in Erie, CO in a NOAA/Appalachian State University report published Sept. 2, 2011 and conducted Feb-Mar 2011.
LONGMONT — The city of Longmont released a draft of its new oil and gas rules Friday, which include a ban of drilling in residential zones and the potential for increased distance between a well and a home.
If approved, the rules would be the first update of Longmont’s drilling regulations since 2000. Pressure to upgrade the rules began last fall when TOP Operating announced plans for a multi-well site near Union Reservoir.
The updated rules will be reviewed by the city’s planning commission Wednesday. The commission then will decide whether to send them to the City Council for approval.