Letter: Drilling and your Colorado dream
Imagine you purchase your dream home in a residential area in Garfield County. It is the biggest investment of your lifetime. Living in a beautiful community, you have vibrant neighborhoods, recreation abounds, schools, playgrounds, majestic vistas – a safe and healthy environment for you and your family.
But if you and your neighbors don’t own the mineral rights below the surface of your home – and most people don’t – an industrial oil and gas complex of drilling, fracking, chemical storage with noise, lights, odors can start production as close as 500 feet from your home and close to your neighborhood. And there is very little you can do about it.
This scenario is what will be happening in Battlement Mesa for about the next three years. That is the proposed time frame for Phase One of a multi-phase plan to drill inside this planned unit development (PUD). If the county commissioners put their seal of approval on Ursa’s special use permit application to drill these initial 53 wells, this could be the reality in Battlement Mesa for the next 20 to 30 years.
Even though the special use hearings on Dec. 15 in Battlement Mesa and Dec. 16 in Glenwood Springs concerns only Battlement Mesa, the dye could be cast for the next drilling application to be located in your neighborhood. Town boundaries do not prevent this from happening, as residents in Greeley, Windsor and Erie have found out.
At the recent COGCC hearings in Denver, O&G executives noted that in the near future, 30-40 percent of drilling will happen in residential areas.
So lend your voice at the upcoming hearings for “No residential drilling” to the Garfield County Commissioners. You could help prevent the next drilling operation from happening in your neighborhood.
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