I attended the rulemaking hearing of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on setbacks from houses and buildings. I testified representing the NFRIA-WSERC Conservation Center in my position as a volunteer director, introducing the Western Slope environmental community.
Mr. Hickenlooper needs to protect the people of Colorado from the impacts of gas drilling by passing legislation with adequate setbacks, because the COGCC isn't going to do it.
After the testimony was over, we thought we had a mediocre deal from COGCC with new setback requirements. However, illegal lobbying by the gas industry after the rulemaking hearing was closed could further restrict the power for local governments to empower neighbors within 500 feet of a proposed drill rig. And on top of that the new setback rules would only apply to NEW leases. Colorado is almost all leased already, so this loophole is big enough to render bigger setback rules almost worthless.
So come on, Mr. Hickenlooper, make reasonable setbacks to protect the people of Colorado from industrial drilling sites. It's time for state government to step in.
Readers, if you care about Colorado's future, contact our governor and legislators and pressure them to act.