During my own testimony to the COGCC I wondered where the woman on the commission was. "Where is your voice of reason? A woman on your commission, or several, might change this whole thing here."
In retrospect I was naive to think that women commissioners would make much of a difference in permitting wells near homes and schools. There are many women in the oil and gas industry. Tischa Schuller is one. She is president of their trade group, COGA. She has no qualms about drilling inside city limits, nor does Barb Kirkmeyer, the one woman on our Weld County Commission, who hoped to become the next U.S. Representative for our area.
In her campaign she claimed to be a "proud and consistent supporter of the Personhood movement, unambiguously defending life from conception." But, apparently she does not give the quality of life of children after they are born in an area inundated with oil and gas drilling much thought!
|Barb Kirkmeyer and fellow Weld commissioners happily holding the big bucks check.|
And Sarah McQuiddy, president of Greeley's Chamber of Commerce believes,
“It’s safe, affordable, reliable and clean, ...Weld County really is the epicenter for a new generation of energy development, as well as abundant benefits that bring the local community much support in an economic-development way.”Of course, she also praised our school district's strategic plan that eliminated play from kindergarten and subjected these kids to 90 minutes of mind numbing scripted literacy lessons each day!
But, I was especially taken aback by a mom with three young children going into Centennial Park Library where a friend was circulating the petition for initiative 88. I asked the woman if she wanted to sign the ballot initiative for greater setbacks from homes and schools and she said no.
"You think it is OK for children to be subjected to the hazards?" I asked and she said: "Yes, because my husband works in oil and gas." And so it is that there are also women without compassion or concerns for the well-being of children, even their own!
First listen to this woman's testimony. She came all the way from Aurora to address the commission. The transcript of her comments are below, but you should really hear her speak! It's only 47 seconds.
"Five years ago Oklahoma had two earthquakes, last year they experienced a hundred, this year there were over two hundred. The petroleum institute in Oklahoma has no idea what might be causing these earthquakes. Not a clue! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that injecting millions of gallons of contaminated water into the earth is going to have a dire consequence, and now Greeley will be receiving Aurora's flowback water...To approve these exemptions would be foolhardy and would put more Greeley residents at risk, and I would suggest "Enough is enough!"
Enough is not enough for Barb Kirkmeyer. She wants more injection wells in Weld county!
Here's what was discussed during the break.
"A few of us stayed for the lunch session. It was very interesting. The County Staff and COGCC Commissioners chatted for a long time about injection wells. Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer stated that Weld County needs more injection wells and COGCC is taking too long to complete the permitting process.
COGCC stated there are 39 injection wells with permits in queue for the state, of those 20 are disposal class II injection wells...8 of those wells are in Weld County, 5 of the 8 have yet to be drilled and are waiting for EPA. The other 3 are in the drilling process.
Kirkmeyer inquired if Weld County were to hire a person and lend him to the state to work on the injection well permits, would the state be able to expedite the backlog of permits at COGCC and start getting the permit time down? COGCC said they would be willing to look into this with Weld County.
COGCC stated that Aurora is looking into bringing their wastewater to Weld also. Kirkmeyer stated again that more wells are needed. She said that overflow of wastewater is being trucked to WY and that it would be better to avoid them being on the roads.
Another Weld County Commissioner asked (I’m sorry, I am unsure of who), if COGCC does permitting for storage of temporary waste. Lepore responded that he felt the city would be able to regulate that some. The weld county commission said that waste is being temporary stored in the easements of their well site in trucks and it seemed like there should be a violation assessed for unpermitted storage.
He said operators are even storing the trucks of waste in other locations not suitable or permitted, but that it is less cost for them than setting up a commercial storage area. It was agreed that this was something to look further into and seek legal counsel."