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Gas drilling needs public debate, too

Dear Editor,

Recently, two important decisions that will impact the our valley’s quality of life and future – Red Feather Ridge and the Crystal River Marketplace – were recently publicly debated and voted upon by residents.

In the Silt, Rifle and Parachute area, a massive industrial development is gearing-up – without public debate – that will impact residents for generations.



Local gas producer Williams recently applied for and was granted 10-acre spacing for 500 new gas wells on private land, and has applied for 10-acre spacing for 550 additional wells on federal lands near Rifle.

The public hearing will be in Denver on Aug. 18.



The Grand Valley Citizens Alliance requested a public hearing here and was informed that regulations do not allow private citizens to request public hearings for issues regarding federal lands. GVCA has now requested the Glenwood BLM office to request the local hearing. The decision is pending.

This is a huge issue with the potential to forever change the rural quality of western Garfield County, especially if this precedent carries over to all public and private gas leases. A system allowing no opportunity for public input is outrageous.

GVCA is bringing sixth-generation New Mexico rancher Tweeti Blancett to speak from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, at the New Castle Community Center. She speaks to lack of regulation and the need of citizens from all perspectives and political views to work together on this issue. Her articles on this issue have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and High Country News.

Sincerely,

Bob Utesch

South of Silt


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