Wednesday, March 13, 2013

La Plata County 3/12/2013 Fracking Information Session

Being out of state I couldn't attend last night's meeting, but thanks to the magic of the internet and the League of Women Voters, I was able to read up on it this morning and share this information.

Hydraulic Fracturing in La Plata County and Colorado 101

Sally Bellerue, state co-chair of the LWVCO hydraulic fracturing study, put together a very comprehensive and fair-minded session on fracking in La Plata County and CO for members and a few guests on March 12. The two speakers, Karen Spray, environmental specialist in the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), and Bruce Baizel, Environmental Attorney with Earthworks, an oil and gas accountability project, a nation-wide project headquartered in Durango, kept their presentations candid, fact-based and neutral. 

The result was an extremely informative session which will serve us well as background for our state study on fracking to begin next fall. If you missed the meeting, the slide presentations of both speakers are on our website at (page down to just above ‘LWVUS Reference Materials’). The Durango Herald’s Heather Scofield’s summary of our session, including some audience reaction, is just above the slide presentations.

Why is April 1st important? That is the day that CO’s much touted new fracking regulations go into effect, in particular, the requirement that well drillers post on the (Chemical Disclosure Registry) website the contents of the fracking fluids used in each particular well (unless they have been registered as proprietary), among other requirements. Bookmark that website if you have drilling going on around you.

One big unresolved area of concern for the speakers was the appropriate delineation of what level of government should control what parts of the drilling/permitting processes.

At this point there is a mix of control by federal, state and local officials, perhaps not the optimal distribution for us in CO.

Stay tuned for more as fall approaches…
-Marilyn Brown
Vice President of La Plata County League of Women voters

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At the following site you can find League of Womens Voters search results for - "Fracking"

The Durango Herald has written many stories that can be accessed here

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PS. And then 'they' wonder why we don't trust politicians these days:

Gov. (Hickenlooper) defends gulp of frack fluid

Concoction made with food additives

DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper said media outlets took him out of context when he told a U.S. Senate committee this week that he drank hydraulic-fracturing fluid.
The comments struck a nerve with environmentalists, who have become increasingly frustrated with the governor for – in their eyes – ignoring the potential pollution from the widely used technique of extracting natural gas and oil.
“We’re astounded that Gov. Hickenlooper would use a national platform to give the impression that frack fluid is safe for public health. The industry has a track record of misleading the public about the fact that its fracking fluid contains numerous toxic chemicals,” said Carrie Curtiss, the group’s deputy director, in a news release.
Hickenlooper defended his testimony Thursday, saying news reports ignored the context of the discussion about intellectual property.
“I don’t think there’s any frack fluid right now that I’m aware of that people are using commercially that you want to drink,” Hickenlooper said.
Video from his testimony shows Hickenlooper did not mention that the safe frack fluid was not being used in Colorado because of cost.
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