LETTER: Bill would give oil and gas industry power of eminent domain | PostIndependent.com

LETTER: Bill would give oil and gas industry power of eminent domain

Colorado Senate Bill 14-093 gives the oil and gas industry the power of eminent domain for placement of pipelines, denying public and private landowners their right to negotiate placement or reject pipelines on their property. Eminent domain should be reserved for government agencies and public utility providers. Giving this power to for-profit, private corporations is contrary to the purpose of eminent domain because there is no established community need for these pipelines.

Colorado again betrays its people and reduces the concept of private property to meaningless verbiage. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has permitted companies to drill next to houses in suburban neighborhoods, next to schools, in flood planes, next to rivers, and in iconic wilderness areas. The COGCC allows these toxic chemical facilities to drill wherever industry wants to drill without any zoning consideration. They allow them to drill right through people’s aquifers, under major water bodies, and inject millions of gallons of a toxic slurry with minimum assurance that the chemicals will not contaminate water supplies.

Not only can you have a giant chemical facility with a 200-foot drill rig within 500 feet of your house, but now these same companies could lay a pipeline across your property. These pipelines could carry carcinogenic, contaminated, and explosive natural gas on its way to processing or toxic slurries known to be hazardous to the endocrine system.

My daughter just called me from Windsor and said they are mapping her neighborhood for potential drilling. This is disturbing since she has a 3-month-old son. The Center for Environmental Health reports fracking exposes children and mothers to chemicals and substances associated with low birth weight, birth defects, respiratory problems, cancer and fertility problems.

Local governments and citizens must be allowed input into placement of pipelines, type of products being moved in the pipelines and safety measures. The potential for leaks and other impacts makes property owners vulnerable to damage and reduced property values. Please act now and fight back against this industry land-grab.

Send your message to your representative and ask that they oppose SB14-093

Tom Rutledge

Glenwood Springs

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