As expected, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar did his utmost to shut down future Colorado oil shale industries with the release of his final Record of Decision.
The ROD took more than 90 percent of the land holding one of the world’s largest oil reserves off the table for any consideration for leasing. Certainly not a responsible approach but yet another punitive and partisan serving action on his part.
Requiring any company to somehow prove viability of their technology to a bunch of bureaucrats, who likely know as little about real-world geology and petro-physics as they do about economics, before Ken “Big Brother” Salazar will allow production and sales of the products of their labors is like something out of a bad movie. But it’s happening right here. Leasable lands left to grovel over do no one any good; the remaining acreage is insufficient to support commercial production.
Lord Salazar’s call for “careful analysis of the potential social and economic impacts of a commercial oil shale industry, as well as of the true amount of water use such an industry might entail” is difficult to take seriously. The BLM, under his watch, evidently disregarded more than the social and economic benefits of oil shale development while developing its EIS. Evidence-based studies have already demonstrated how little water full scale oil shale production actually uses. Since science doesn’t sync with Salazar’s ideology, it, too, was disregarded, until “studies” friendlier to his position can be contrived.
The nefariously scripted talking points of various liberal and environmental lobbyists in support of his actions are simply red herrings. Does their speak bear factually verifiable knowledge of real impacts of oil shale development? No. Rather it’s a collection of pointedly crafted wording fraught with mistruths advancing a political agenda using our courts and an executive branch friendly to their position to do so.
Ms. Korenblat, despite her laughably inflated figures, was correct on one point: Oil shale would probably not have generated a financial effect similar to mountain biking. In seeming obvious fact, the benefit to all citizens would have been much greater.
It is my thought that Scott Balcomb misunderstands the worry many of us have about the gas industry and the industry’s water resources.
The river is over-allocated. With rising needs up and down stream, any surplus that existed in the wet years gave this distortion a frame in which to exist without being clearly seen. In steps the oil and gas money – that, yes, legally – buys up water rights from anywhere it can. The industry with its deep pockets have bought rights from orchards, farmers, even cities. There are cities on the Front Range that allow water trucks to fill at hydrants, with that city’s and the state’s and our water.
One important thing left unsaid is that a portion of that water is not returned to the hydrological cycle. A measurement of exactly what goes down and precisely what comes back up during the drilling of a well has not been done. Deep well injected water is not expected to return to the surface. And what they put in this water, remains a well-kept secret, which is another part of the discussion.
I am starting to question the right of government entities to sell and oversee the unregulated sale of a resource we all must have to live, without a vote. Water is not a liberal value, and even our conservative neighbors will miss the water when the well goes dry – legal or not.
Regarding the Parachute Creek hydrocarbon plume: I certainly agree with Leslie Robinson, Dave Devanney, Bob Arrington and Peggy Tibbetts, that the COGCC, EPA and CDPHE all have dropped the ball on this environmental nightmare. Yet officials of Garfield County must also be held accountable for their complete abdication of their constitutional duties.
Remember, “all politics is local” and “transparency” was a major 2012 county commissioner campaign issue. Yet because the property owners along Parachute Creek were kept in the dark for nine full days, obviously there was a complete absence of “transparency” on the part of the Garfield County commissioners. Exactly what Sonja Linman, Anita Sherman and Aleks Briedis warned us about during the 2012 campaign.
Under Colorado Revised Statutes 30-11-101 (2), Garfield County commissioners Tom Jankovsky, Mike Samson and John Martin have the legal authority to adopt and enforce ordinances regarding health, safety and welfare issues as otherwise prescribed by law. Under this statute, a violation of a Garfield County ordinance would be a misdemeanor.
Furthermore, the Garfield County commissioners may elect to apply a money penalty assessment procedure as set forth in C.R.S. 16-2-201 and may adopt a graduated fine schedule for multiple offenses. Which means the county sheriff may arrest a person who allegedly violates county ordinances, take the alleged perpetrator before a county judge and the judge may rule the perpetrator is guilty and fine the individual as set forth in the county ordinance.
Therefore, I hold that Samson, Martin and Jankovsky have a Colorado constitutional oath obligation to adopt a county ordinance that mandates to the oil and gas extraction industry; that every incident that requires filing a report with the COGCC, the same report must be immediately forwarded to the Garfield County oil and gas liaison, and the liaison must then immediately release to the Post Independent and GJ Sentinel, the COGCC report.
Failure to comply with this full disclosure county ordinance will result in fines equal to the EPA which can be as high as $37,500 per day, per incident.
Outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s final oil shale decision reflects the usual backward economic thinking that we have come to expect from the Obama administration.
Only after a company proves its production techniques, will the government allow them to seek additional land (from a sharply reduced pool of available land) on which to begin commercial production. This is like telling a restaurateur that only after he can prove to the panel that he can bring a sufficient number of people into his proposed restaurant will he actually be able to open it.
Salazar’s Interior Department is expecting companies to invest time, resources and money into a project without any assurance that they will be afforded the opportunity to ever capitalize on that investment. Those companies that remain and continue to responsibly pursue oil shale development in the face of such bureaucratic hostility are to be commended for working against the odds to bring this resource to the American people.
The Interior Department’s lead-from-behind approach to domestic energy development is wrong and irresponsible, a perversely fitting epitaph to Mr. Salazar’s obstructionist legacy.
I would like to give R.W. Boyle a big thumb’s up for a great letter. We will not only be felons but a vast majority of law enforcement will be, too.
A lot of departments in the state let their officers buy their own pistols, and because it is not a department-issued weapon it will be illegal. I wonder if the morons in the in the House and Senate or the No. 1 moron in the governor’s office thought of that. Even if they make law enforcement exempt the day they leave the department they will be felons.
The sad thing is the person who bought the pistol for Evan Ebel might get six years for that crime and be out in less than three and she is as guilty of murder as he was. Maybe the morons should have looked at where the real problem is and not make honest people felons.
Joseph J. Ceremuga
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras lamented his department’s inability to maintain a constant presence downtown during a virtual public forum Monday night.