Group helps neighbors of drilling ops
Community organizations across Colorado have formed the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans (LOGIC), to help Coloradans who increasingly face challenges arising from drilling near neighborhoods and homes.
“It may be too late for us in Battlement Mesa,” where Garfield County recently approved drilling within residential boundaries, “but LOGIC will be an important ally as others work to address additional drilling near homes and try to protect their communities,” said Dave Devanney, co-chair of Battlement Concerned Citizens.
“It is time to change the discussion around oil and gas development in Colorado — the right of the industry to develop minerals should not trump our rights,” said Dan Johnston, a co-founder of Windsor Neighbors for Responsible Drilling. “The issue is not pro- versus anti-oil and gas development. We need a fair and balanced approach that protects Colorado residents from the risks and impacts of oil and gas drilling as oil companies continue to seek drilling sites closer than ever to homes and neighborhoods.”
A few Colorado communities have sought both statewide and local restrictions, including Longmont, which passed a citywide fracking ban on the 2012 ballot, which is to go before the state Supreme Court, and attempted to institute a series of regulations through the City Council.
“We hope to work with LOGIC to address new drilling proposals near homes and neighborhoods in Adams County,” said Jacky Kowalsky, with Adams County Communities for Drilling Accountability NOW. “LOGIC has the potential to unite Coloradans living near current and proposed oil and gas operations with other concerned citizens in the state.”
Sara Loflin, LOGIC’s executive director, said LOGIC will bring together a diverse group of Coloradans to help evaluate the policies, rules, practices and processes that control urban oil and gas development.
“The oil and gas industry recently told the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to expect a marked increase in drilling in urban areas. Coloradans want safer locations for oil and gas developments that are best sited away from homes, schools, watersheds and other economic resources upon which people’s livelihoods depend,” said Loflin. “LOGIC will help residents with expertise, research and regulatory experience that all impacted residents can access, regardless of geography or ideology.”
LOGIC will seek statewide and local enhancements to current oil and gas regulations by showing policymakers the reality families face when an oil company proposes drilling next to their home or near a school. In addition to providing support to affected neighborhoods throughout the state, LOGIC will also offer Coloradans resources to explain all aspects of working with the industry and with the state regulatory agency.
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Garfield County Public Health officials want people to be aware of the dangers of hantavirus, a disease that is transferred to humans in mouse excrement inhaled with dust in the air.