Saturday, March 19, 2016

Over 600 Spills in Colorado in 2015

DENVER—Oil and gas companies in Colorado were responsible for 615 oil and other chemical spills in 2015, according to the Colorado Toxic Release Tracker released today by the Center for Western Priorities. The new analysis, which summarizes public spills data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, finds that 90 spills—or 15 percent of all spills—resulted in water contamination.

According to publicly available data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission , there were 615 spills in 2015, meaning that nearly two spills occurred every day in the state.

“This is another stark reminder of the risks associated with oil and gas development,” said Greg Zimmerman, deputy director at the Center for Western Priorities. “Even in the face of falling oil prices and virtually no interest in new drilling, companies still managed to spill oil and other chemicals onto Colorado’s land and water nearly two times every day last year.”

The 2015 Toxic Release Tracker finds that produced water was the most common type of spill—companies reported 271 releases of produced water—followed by oil spills, which occurred at least 110 times in 2015. Of those, 51 spills released at least 5 barrels, or 210 gallons, of oil. During 2015, 61 spills occurred within the 500-foot setback of a building.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In Greeley Protest is Futile!

What is so surprising about city councils, or boards of education for that matter, bowing down to corporations and lawyers, and ignoring the wishes of its residents? The Greeley City Council is once again showing that, no matter how many people protest oil and gas pads near their homes, it is futile. Still, the more elected officials get confronted with concerns and protests, the harder it will prove for their conscience to ignore those, that is...if they have a conscience. Thankfully two city council members have, and they voted to uphold the planning commission's decision!

But, where is the concern by the others for the well-being of children who have to live within close proximity of an industrial site that spews VOC's? Yes, I mention children as they are the ones so easily ignored and overlooked in all matters of policy making. 

As long as we disregard the well-being of the children in our society, we shouldn't be surprised that we end up with a large number of people in governing positions who  have no compassion and/or integrity to do what is right for people and the environment. 

Is it not a farce, let alone a blatant lie, when we read this on the city's website?

Following are excerpts and photos that were published in the
Greeley Tribune

After six hours of testimony on Tuesday, the Greeley Council overturned its planning commission, allowing a 22-well oil and gas facility in west Greeley — a move that aligned with the city’s own development code rather than public sentiment.

Hundreds of people turned out for the hearing, an appeal by Denver-based Extraction Oil and Gas, of the Greeley Planning Commission’s January decision to deny its project, 6-0. The hearing filled the hearing room at the Greeley-Evans School District 6 administration building, as well as its lobby, where almost 300 chairs were brought in to accommodate the crowds, filled with neighbors against the project and hundreds of oil and gas workers wearing stickers that read, “Oil and gas feeds my family and yours!”

Read the whole Tribune article here: Greeley City Council overturns Planning Commission denial of Triple Creek project.

The Greeley-Evans School District 6 administration building.

Mayor Tom Norton holds up more than 1,000 pages of letters
 for and against the Triple Creek project.

Oil and gas industry workers had come from outside of Greeley
 and wore stickers in support of their jobs.

But, does Oil & Gas not also pollute and poison?

Mayor Norton: I sympathize with the neighbors and sympathize with comments, but I think beyond that we have to protect private property rights of the many citizens of Greeley who have mineral rights and have a right to access them.

Sandi Elder: I’ve had experience with wells in my backyard and have no problems, and my neighbors and I asked for no mitigations. They offered to put up bushes and trees, but we wanted to see mountains and still do.

Mike Finn: ..what I would worry about us voting against this .You’re just opening up a lawsuit. If I were sitting as a judge, it’s so clear they have a right for this. It blows me away that people don’t see it.

Rochelle Galindo: We appoint a planning commission for a reason and I have every right to trust in their decision and the information presented to them. As far as what was presented tonight, I find it really hard to support his particular development, mostly because it does have a huge impact on traffic flow in that area.
Also the raptor breeding season will definitely prolong the project for several months. For those reasons, I’m going to vote to uphold decision.

Randy Sleight: This has been one of the toughest things I’ve had to grapple with and deal with...I’m a firm supporter of oil and gas development, I work in the industry. I deal with compounds, facilities like this on a daily basis. So in this area, I don’t happen to believe this facility is suitable for the area. It is too intense, too large, there’s too much going on. Too much storage. That’s the emotional side.

On the practical and legal side, the applicant has in fact followed everything they’ve been asked to do. Unemotionally, this is a use by special review issue. I don’t consider it too much of a mineral rights owner issue. If extraction was not going to do what they’re doing, what would they do about their mineral rights? So that’s a moot point. [emphasis mine]

What matters is the fact that the state compels us to apply certain standards to oil and gas development within any zoning area. ... Legally, as a council ... we have the obligation to go ahead and overturn what the planning commission did. That’s not to say they were wrong, but when take emotion out of it and you look at the facts and evidence, the applicant has done everything they’ve been required to do. I’m going to have to support overturning of the decision.