Tag Archive for Longmont water

Do you know who wants your water?

How can I conserve water? My answer may surprise you. Last week a city of Longmont water board member commented that he has a fiduciary responsibility to sell Longmont’s surplus water. Currently, Longmont leases out 600-acre-feet of water per year to Big Oil for fracking and drilling.

Oil fracking and drilling within our community will swell to consume thousands of acre-feet of clear water per year. Simultaneously, Longmont is encouraging its citizens to reduce their use of treated water by 3,500-acre-feet per year.

So, if I have a leaky faucet I have two choices:

1) I can repair the faucet to reduce my consumption. This will increase Longmont’s surplus water. The surplus water from my leak will be sold for fracking. The water will be mixed with toxic chemicals to produce fracking fluid. The fracking fluid will be injected miles under the ground into the Niobrara tight sand formations. Toxic water spurts back from the well and needs to be quarantined. It is trucked hundreds of miles to disposal sites to be forced into 2-mile deep isolation wells. The mountain stream water that Longmont sold to the drilling company is irrevocably removed from the hydrological system (assuming that everything goes well). It will never again runoff the surface. It will never again soak down or evaporate up into the water cycle.

2) I can let the faucet continue to drip.

In this case my leaked water will soak down into the soil or evaporate into the atmosphere or drain to the treatment system. It is conserved within our natural environment.

So, what is the best way for me to conserve the water that is leaking out of my faucet?

Maybe I should just let it drip. Every drop counts.

“If it isn’t in your backyard now, it could be.”

Frack You Longmont

Fracking near Longmont? It's no fairy tale.

A substantive article appeared in the Business Section of the Sunday Denver Post under the title of “Oil Greases Land Rush.” 

Because oil and gas drilling is coming to Longmont’s Union Reservoir, the Sandstone Ranch area, the Sherwood Open Space area at County Road 20.5 and an area known as Evans #8, it is important that the Longmont community learn as much as possible about what this will mean to our quality of life.

Free Range Longmont has already begun coverage of this issue.  We will continue to provide you with information from a number of perspectives. 

Excerpts from the article referenced above appear below.  The excerpts were chosen to serve essentially as “Cliff Notes” on the why – and why now – of what some are referring to as the next “mother lode.”

At the 2010 City Council retreat, our current mayor raised the issue of “mineral rights” that might be owned by Longmont, asking if they had been pursued.  The subject garnered no further public discussion or visibility.  We are only now learning that the city was approached in June of this year by TOP Operating to approve a conditional use permit for drilling operations on city property. We do not know what conversations may have taken place between Mayor Bryan Baum and his 2009 and 2011 campaign supporters prior to beginning the conditional use permit negotiating process. Longmont citizens should demand full disclosure from the mayor, members of city council and members of city staff.

“Oil Greases Land Rush”  by Mark Jafee, The Denver Post

Between 2008 and 2011, leasing activity in six Front Range counties — Larimer, Weld, Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and El Paso — more than doubled, with 8,100 leases filed in the 12 months ending Aug. 30, according to county

Propelling the rush is the discovery of oil in the Niobrara — a geological formation sitting more than 6,000 feet below the Front Range.  Most of the leasing and drilling has been focused on Weld County — the better known and most-promising part of the Niobrara

The strategy of the companies and speculators has been to assemble large land positions in the formation.

In this highly competitive and often secretive game, land companies working for drillers try to assemble parcels and negotiate leases. Often leases aren’t filed in the oil company’s name.

The stealth and shifting corporate decisions have left property owners confused and frustrated.

“Leasing is highly competitive,” said John Dill, a Denver- based spokesman for Chesapeake. “We often do mass mailing just to get the word out.”

The approach isn’t that surprising in a competitive market, said Neil Ray, president of the National Association of Royalty Owners’ Rocky Mountain Chapter.  “Sometimes they are just testing the waters,” he said. “They’re trying to determine if it will be easy or difficult to get leases.”

The larger companies have now built fiefdoms along the Front Range.

EOG has 220,000 acres, mostly in northern Weld County, with a target of completing 45 wells in 2011, according to a company presentation.

Noble Energy more than doubled its holdings to 840,000 net acres in 18 months and plans to drill 85 wells, Chuck Davidson, the company’s chief executive, told investors in September.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., based in suburban Houston, has a net 900,000 acres in Colorado — much of it from acquiring Union Pacific and Kerr-McGee interests. The company is aiming to drill more than 40 wells this year, according to Anadarko spokesman John Christiansen.  [Anadarko Petroleum has hired Cougar Land Services to conduct seismic surveys to locate additional wells.  They have requested permits from the city to conduct these surveys on city-owned properties.  Unlike drilling, the city has the right to deny permission for these surveys.]

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake has amassed 800,000 acres in Colorado and Wyoming.

The top drillers and number of permits for the 12-month period ending Aug. 30:

Weld County

Mineral Resources: 1,018
EOG Resources: 594
Diamond Resources: 483

Larimer County

Marathon Oil: 50
Strata Oil & Gas: 45
Prospect Energy: 44

Nikki Stansfield, who lives in a suburban-style Larimer County development, persuaded neighbors to hire a lawyer to deal with a driller…. Still, concerned that state rules don’t provide enough protection to homeowners, Stansfield is seeking a meeting with Gov. John Hickenlooper.”The lesson is,” Stansfield said, “if it isn’t in your backyard now, it could be.”

Read the entire article here.