Darcy Juday

Don’t rush drilling decisions

Editor’s Note: The following address was presented to the Longmont City Council on November 15, 2011. The address was authored by Darcy Juday, Vice Chair of the Water Board, who has 20 years experience in oil and gas exploration. It was presented and endorsed by Kaye Fissinger, Chair of the Board of Environmental Affairs.

Short-term profit, long-term damage

Drilling in Wattenberg Field is coming to the edges of Longmont; and if the first wells are successful, it could continue west into the heart of our city.

Now we have the unique opportunity to consider the effects this will have on Longmont’s livability. If we rush into this unprepared, we may have regrets for 20 years to come. Other nearby communities are also assessing the impact of large scale drilling within their boundaries. Longmont should take advantage of the experience of those communities.

Council has met with Weld County and heard of their positive experience; but that’s been mostly in rural areas. We should also hear from Boulder County which has had drilling on Open Space, and from Arapahoe County which is about to experience a drilling boom. Other counties and cities are drawing up their own regulations. We should learn about what they are considering. We should learn what other counties and communities are proposing to add to their regulations, regulations that likely may go beyond those that Longmont currently has in place.

We should ask for air pollution controls, pre- and post- drilling water sampling, enclosed drilling mud circulation, visual barriers, and landscaping in our parks. Those are big picture items.

We should also know about the operating company. Weld County has had good experience with large companies but problems with smaller ones. This smaller company, TOP Operating, has drilled on Longmont property before. Did they perform as they said they would?

And lastly, our investigation should be a joint effort with Council, Water Board, Parks and Recreation and the Environmental Board in any studies, meetings and presentations. Deliberate study can prevent future regrets.

McCoy the choice for Ward 3

Photo by Free Range Longmont

Sean McCoy at City Council Study Session 2011

I write in favor of Sean McCoy’s candidacy as Ward 3 representative for Longmont City Council. Although I live in Ward 2, his actions on council affect me, particularly with respect to airport issues. I appreciate his thoughtful approach to citywide matters like budget, growth and water management.

I am a licensed pilot and former airplane owner, and I live within the landing pattern of the airport. Sean understands that, in contrast to what has been printed in these pages recently and seized upon by his opponent, lengthening the runway will not abate takeoff noise. When you take off you use full throttle even if you have 10 miles of runway in front of you! And are you among the many residents whose only airport concern is the jump plane’s noise? Then surely you don’t expect the total noise to be reduced by opening the runway capacity in the expectation of an (actually unlikely) fleet of corporate jets.

I sit on Longmont’s Water Board, and I appreciate Sean’s understanding of water issues as they relate to Longmont water’s long-term security. Our water supply is affected by climate change and the interplay of agriculture and municipal growth. These factors are complex in their interactions — some are within our ability to control; others ultimately depend on worldwide cooperation. Sean pays attention to the various forces at play. He is not himself an expert in water matters, but he has the judgment to pay proper attention to what he is told by experts and to incorporate that information in making decisions for the interest of the citizenry at large.

Additionally I know Sean and his family on a personal basis, and I enthusiastically attest to his fine character and his devotion to the residents of Longmont. Please vote for Sean McCoy.