Titans’ take on drilling near school | PostIndependent.com

Titans’ take on drilling near school

Austin Strong
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the February edition of the Titan Times, the student newspaper of Coal Ridge High School.

One day, students at Coal Ridge High School may look out the window and see the green and white drill rig of Antero Resources. As of this moment, the district does not know if Antero will build a pad near Coal Ridge. If one is built, it is uncertain how close the rig will be to the Coal Ridge property.

According to Theresa Hamilton, the only thing that the district knows is that Antero can not drill, place a road, or put a pipeline on the 40 acres on which Coal Ridge sits.

The district was able to obtain those privileges by signing a lease with Antero. Signing the lease entitled the district to obtain compensation for the minerals and 20 percent on royalties for all of the gas that is obtained. Hamilton also stated that some of these signing privileges were earmarked for Coal Ridge High School, which means there will be extra money for the school to use.

For now, the lease doesn’t mean that Antero will drill at Coal Ridge. It is all up in the air because of how early it is in the negotiation process.

As with any controversial issue, students at Coal Ridge are swayed against and for Antero drilling. Here are two student responses for both arguments.

Melessa Starbuck, a senior, explained why Antero should be allowed to drill.

“Drilling near Coal Ridge is no different than anywhere else that Antero Resources has drilled on Silt Mesa,” Starbuck said.

“Like the other areas, Coal Ridge is in a rural location with only a few houses near the property, the rest is hay field and pastures. The only problem that Antero faces is gaining access to build a pad on the neighboring property, which is owned by Michele Pfeifer.

“In her article to the Post on Feb. 1, Pfeifer stated, ‘Antero doesn’t have permission to drill on her property.’ So if Antero can gain access to drill; then let them drill,” commented Starbuck.

Another Coal Ridge student, sophomore, Anabolena Loor Mendoza, expressed negative concerns with Antero drilling.

“I can’t think of any outside sport student-athlete who would want to breathe in toxic carbon emissions from a nearby oil rig. The spectators at these sports events may also reconsider attending if they were forced to breathe these toxic fumes,” Loor Mendoza said.

“Additionally, Antero’s trucks would create an increase in traffic for students and staff. These toxic-chemical-carrying trucks would also be sharing the same roads with students.

“Lastly, has anyone asked Coal Ridge what to do with the money from Antero? If anything, the district should have consulted with Coal Ridge and its community before deciding on such an impacting decision,” commented Loor Mendoza.

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