I call it the Snooker Train. Contrary to the publicly described purpose, this is a dog and pony show intended to snooker communities into believing that they have a meaningful seat at the table of oil and gas drilling. There is no credibility in outcome of these so-called “outreach” gatherings anymore than there has been for Governor Hickenlooper’s Task Force on Cooperative Strategies Regarding State and Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Development.
Here’s what they tell you is the purpose:
The meetings will provide information on the respective regulatory roles of the state agencies. Information will be provided on existing regulations for oil and gas development in Colorado. Staff from each agency will be available to answer written questions about aspects of oil and gas development as well as speak individually with interested residents.
But what Hickenlooper, the COGCC and the oil and gas industry and their shills throughout the legislature and the task force have intended from the get-go is to get local government off their back.
When all is said at done, their premise of preemption will not have changed, not even a nano change. But many local governments and some in those communities will be led down the garden path of thinking that there has been change.
Reproduced directly from the COGCC website is it’s MISSION STATEMENT:
The mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is to foster the responsible development of Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources.
Responsible development results in:
The efficient exploration and production of oil and gas resources in a manner consistent with the protection of public health, safety and welfare
The prevention of waste
The protection of mineral owners’ correlative rights
The prevention and mitigation of adverse environmental impacts
The COGCC seeks to serve, solicit participation from, and maintain working relationships with all those having an interest in Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources.
Where are YOU in this? NOWHERE. That’s where. Unless you think that being a GOAL is good enough. Because a GOAL is all we are:
- Promote the exploration, development and conservation of Colorado’s oil and gas natural resources
- Prevent and mitigate adverse impacts to public health, safety, welfare and the environment
- Demonstrate balanced leadership in the regulation and promotion of oil and gas development in Colorado at the local, state and federal levels
The fundamental issue that they will not address because it would provoke a monumental change that the industry will not tolerate is that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is failing to live up to its legal mandate:
§34-60-102 – Legislative Intent – “It is declared to be in the public interest to foster the responsible, balanced development, production, and utilization of the natural resources of oil and gas in the state of Colorado in a manner consistent with protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources (§34-60-102(1)(a)(I)). [emphasis added]
Simply stated, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is in violation of the law, §34-60-102.
So the COGCC will show up in Longmont, and other localities, with the CDPHE in tow to take your written questions. Yes, that’s right. Written. This is how they will pick and chose what they wish to answer and avoid (they hope) embarrassment and confrontation.
So we’ll see you on May 7th and will see how well things go as planned.
WHEN: Wednesday May 7, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WHERE: City of Longmont
350 Kimbark Street
Longmont, CO 80501