Tag Archive for Colorado House District 12

Coloradans will continue to say “No” to oil and gas without action.

The following Guest Commentary appeared in The Denver Post on June 27, 2013 and is reproduced on Free Range Longmont with permission from State Representative Mike Foote.
Mike Foote, Colorado State Representative, House District 12

Mike Foote, Colorado State Representative, House District 12

Oil and gas is an issue that will not go away. The number of active wells in Colorado has doubled over the last four years. The number of spills and other contamination incidents has also increased. Drilling has encroached ever closer to more densely populated areas. The industry will spend and make billions of dollars in Colorado in the upcoming years.

People across Colorado have expressed legitimate concerns about their health and safety as well as their lack of a voice in the process. Changes to the system to increase transparency, accountability, local control and safety can go a long way in addressing those concerns.

That’s why I and other legislators brought forward proposals, including imposing minimum penalties for serious violations of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and changing the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to focus on protecting public health and the environment, ending its conflicted dual role of promoting oil and gas drilling while simultaneously regulating it.

The industry opposed those bills, as well as others increasing water monitoring requirements, increasing the number of well inspectors, creating a health impact study, and assessing fees for local inspection programs. None of those common-sense reforms made it through the legislature.

However, some hope emerged at the end of the session when Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order directing the COGCC to “reevaluate its enforcement philosophy and approach.” The governor’s order went on to say, “Colorado requires strong and clear enforcement of the rules and assessment of fines and penalties accordingly.”

Implicit in the order was the recognition that enforcement of oil and gas industry regulations in Colorado is neither strong nor clear, and that the COGCC has become too cozy with the oil and gas operators it is supposed to be monitoring. It is my hope more progress can be made on this issue as well as many others related to oil and gas over the next year.

Recently, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association announced it would conduct a “listening tour” around the state this summer. As an elected official, my job is to listen to the people of Colorado all year long, and I hear widespread frustration about the current oil and gas system. Perhaps after listening like I have, COGA will be more interested in partnering toward some solutions rather than saying no to any real reform. Because if the industry continues to say “no,” the people of Colorado will say “no” to oil and gas.

That is exactly what is happening across the Front Range right now. Concerned citizens’ groups have popped up from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. A ballot measure banning fracking passed in Longmont with a bipartisan 60 percent margin. Ballot measures in other cities and counties are promised this year.

Instead of taking their concerns seriously, industry supporters have called these citizens extremists and hypocrites for heating their homes and driving cars to work. That isn’t the language of dialogue; that’s the language of confrontation. People have responded with the tools available to them: public protest and the ballot box.

Coloradans know that our most precious natural resources are not gas and oil, but water, air and natural beauty. They will act to protect what’s most precious.

Until Coloradans have confidence that the oil and gas industry is behaving responsibly in our state, and under strict environmental safeguards, we will see this dynamic continue. Building public confidence by setting and enforcing high standards will not only protect the environment and people’s health and safety, it will also protect the livelihoods of the Coloradans who work in the industry.

Negotiation requires more than just sitting at the negotiating table. It requires a willingness to accept opposing viewpoints and a commitment to find common ground. Coloradans deserve no less.

State Representative Mike Foote represents House District 12 in Longmont, Lafayette and Louisville.

 

 

Foote raises $15,000 in 5 weeks

In the five weeks since he Mike Foote announced his candidacy for Colorado House District 12, Foote reports that he’s accepted a record total of $15,589 in contributions and that the donations are the most ever raised in a single quarter by any HD-12 candidate.

Pending approval from the Colorado Supreme Court after the recent state house and state senate boundaries reapportionment, House District 12 is in east Boulder and southwest Weld counties. It includes portions of Longmont, the entire cities of Louisville, Erie, Dacono, Firestone, and Frederick and half of Lafayette.

“It’s exciting to see such an outpouring of support,” said Foote, a Lafayette Democrat. “We’ve worked hard to spread our positive and progressive message over the last month. I’m humbled by the reaction.”

Foote is a deputy district attorney with the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office. He has prosecuted major white-collar and other criminal cases, winning justice for victims of embezzlement fraud, Ponzi schemes, arson and other violent crimes.

“Public service is about solving problems, and voters appreciate someone who will work hard and effectively every single day to address the important issues facing our state,” Foote said in his press release.

Foote also reported $12,410 cash on hand and $2,579 in expenditures for the quarter ending September 30th. More information on Foote can be found at www.mikefoote.org

Matt Jones Announces State Senate Bid

Current State Representative Matt Jones will continue the fight for middle class Coloradans

Jones formally announced his candidacy for state senate in Senate District 17, which covers portions of eastern Boulder County including Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville, and western Erie. The seat is currently held by Brandon Shaffer, who is term limited. Jones is currently serving his 4th term as a State Representative.

Matt Jones returned to the Statehouse in 2010 when he handily won the primary election for House District 12, Longmont, Louisville and Lafayette, by ten points and the general election by 28 points. He previously served three terms in 1987-1993.

His co-chairs include former State Representative Paul Weissmann, County Commissioners Cindy Domenico and Ben Pearlman, former County Commissioner Jana Mendez, District Attorney Stan Garnett, Sheriff Joe Pelle, and former 22-year Longmont City Council member Tom McCoy.

“As a senator I will be even more able to get Coloradans back on track and feeling stronger than before,” Jones said. “I will continue to work on bipartisan solutions to create jobs, fund quality education, and provide affordable health care and a clean environment. Our current economic adversity further stokes my passion to ensure opportunity and security for middle class families.”

Jones added, “I want to thank Senate President Brandon Shaffer for his leadership and tremendous service to the citizens of eastern Boulder County.”