Two articles by Mark Hand that explain the fight in our community.
With large oil and gas reserves, Colorado often is at the center of the nation’s fossil fuel wars. (August 16)
Greeley Tribune, May 17, 2017
We need to free ourselves from rule of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands, which have connected them with another …”
Thus begins the document that birthed this country.
We need to remind ourselves that when a government body ceases to protect the rights and welfare of the governed, it must be banished so that the will of the governed can be amply represented.
Based on sentiment expressed by various groups and reported by this newspaper, such a body would appear to be the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Grievances expressed against this body read like the Declaration’s list against King George III.
Substitute COGCC for “he” and “him” and, with a few exceptions, all grievances listed have been leveled against the COGCC:
» COGCC has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
» COGCC has forbidden municipalities to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till COGCC’s Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, COGCC has utterly neglected to attend to them.
» COGCC has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
The Declaration of Independence removed our consent to be governed by a tyrant in Britain.
Perhaps we need to remove our consent to be governed by the COGCC and instruct our lawmakers to form a body with the best interests of the citizens at heart.
Carl Erickson, Greeley
1] Blessed are those who live simply, for they enable others to live as well; it is they who will inherit the earth.
2] Blessed are the teachers and critical thinkers, for they patiently ensure the next generation is eco-literate, understands interconnection, and feels empathy for all living things.
3] Blessed are the students, for they inherit the mistakes of their elders and shoulder more than their fair share of the collective burden as we forge a new way forward.
4] Blessed are our responsive policy-makers, civil servants, politicians, organizers, and volunteers, for they love our community and build civic capacity and participation.
5] Blessed are the so-called radical fringe and activist streak, for they patrol the precipice, preventing deniers from falling into the abyss of willful ignorance at the edge of the flat world.
6] Blessed are the groups that spring from the grass, as did Weld Air and Water, may these groups thrive and persevere so that the seventh generation hence knows that someone—we–cared.
7] Blessed are those who drove here today using fossil fuels, for though they support systemic change, they have few choices; may affordable renewable options be readily available soon now yesterday!
8] Blessed are those who quietly work to change things from within, incognito and afraid to lose their jobs, friends, or standing, for theirs is the most difficult and compromised road to travel.
9] Blessed are those who walk, bike, recycle, and compost for they serve as role models for us all.
10] Blessed are the renewable energy innovators, entrepreneurs, green job creators, and researchers; the future belongs to them.
11] Blessed are the tree huggers, for they are not ashamed to show love by throwing their arms around the world.
12] Blessed are those who brave the elements in order to march for the earth, for they shall be honored by the planting of a forest of huggable trees.
13] Blessed are the couch surfers who got off their behinds to become the change they wished to see, for in them is the hope and fate of the entire world.
People’s Climate March
April 29, 2017
Triple Creek Action is asking for concerned citizens to file complaints with the COGCC
File your complaint here:
**Under “Type of Complaint”, select “Other” and type in “Location”.**
They have established a GoFundMe campaign for help with their legal fees.
More information is available on the Triple Creek Action FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/triplecreekaction/?fref=ts
Weld Air and Water, a local grassroots group, has monitored the Governor’s Oil & Gas Task Force proceedings and eagerly anticipates the February 27th report. We appreciate Governor Hickenlooper’s attempt to facilitate compromise among the factions and agree with the Tribune Editorial Board’s February 12th op-ed statement: “if the task force falls short, we hope the Legislature will take up the issue with meaningful, pragmatic, bipartisan legislation. If our elected leaders fail to act, voters will.” Indeed, people should act to preserve their quality of life. Most Coloradans, regardless of party affiliation, share a belief in the importance of environmental stewardship, local control of zoning, and a sustainable, stable economy. But energy-related legislative votes tend to cleave along party lines and given the even split in our State legislature, a stalemate seems likely. Seeking solutions, not stalemate, Weld Air and Water has formed an alliance with grassroots groups in Windsor and Western Slope communities. We are asking for a meeting with the Governor, knowing that administrative and legislative solutions are preferable to amendment of the State Constitution.
Weld Air and Water is a diverse group of all political affiliations. We specifically oppose high-intensity fracking in proximity to schools and residences. We are not anti-fracking per se; in fact, among us there are mineral leaseholders. Some signed immediately, while others delayed and then eventually signed because of the specter of forced pooling. We figured that if we can’t beat them, we might as well join them and receive the signing bonus. Many of us were rewarded for our hesitancy when a third party offered us a signing bonus and royalty rate superior to the substandard rate offered by the drilling company. I know of one household planning to donate their signing bonus to Energy Outreach Colorado, a non-profit organization that helps low-income Coloradans pay heating bills and improve energy efficiency. Like that donor, you too can make a difference. If you haven’t acted yet, now is the time. The meaning of the truism–if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem–was made clear to me recently. An honest friend pointed out that in spite of my environmental idealism, in my actions I am quite average and culpable. I worked for an automotive quick-lube chain for many years. I fly when I should take Amtrak, leaving a huge carbon footprint. We are all enmeshed in a complex system that encourages codependence upon oil and gas. Litmus tests of ideological purity and demonizing rhetoric are unproductive. Instead it is helpful to examine oneself, our shared systemic problems, and the scientific research. We, the moderate citizens of Colorado, can be a part of the solution. We can take mass transit, buy solar panels, or get an energy audit. And we can tell the Governor, the Task Force, and our representatives that we support prudent regulation of the oil and gas industry.
It’s time for a “People’s Task Force,” the forging of a middle path between the extremes of greenwashing and doomsday jeremiads. It’s time to restore fairness and balance of power; the oil and gas industry should be subject to local zoning authority as is every other industry. We can safely develop oil and gas as a bridge fuel, but we need to allow the infrastructure development, environmental impact studies, and compliance and inspection systems to catch up. Increased residential setback distances and full application of local zoning authority are changes that a majority of Coloradans can support. We, the people, are willing to cooperate in a nonpartisan manner. Are industry and our politicians willing to do the same?
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