(Denver, CO) The League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans or LOGIC delivered three letters to Governor Hickenlooper asking him not to appeal the Martinez v. COGCC case. More than 1,500 impacted Coloradans, 39 local elected officials and community leaders, and 13 state legislators signed onto the letters. “Coloradans have been asking for a conversation on oil and gas that puts their health, safety, and quality of life first. The Martinez ruling is directing the state to do just that, and we hope that the Governor will listen to the people and push to for policy solutions that put communities and people first,” said Sara Loflin, LOGIC’s executive director.
On March 23, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that the COGCC mandate “mandates that the development of oil and gas in Colorado be regulated subject to the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources.” Recent accidents and the tragedy in Firestone prompted LOGIC, a group that works with Coloradans living with current and proposed oil and gas development near their neighborhoods, to initiate the letters. “Coloradans deserve to have a voice when it comes to oil and gas development in neighborhoods. Coloradans deserve assurances that the safety of our homes, our schools, our playgrounds, and our health will be the priority when if comes to oil and gas development,” said Stacy Lambright of Thornton.
On May 1, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) voted unanimously to appeal the Martinez ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court. In response, local governments in Adams County, Broomfield, Longmont, and Boulder County all signed on or adopted their own letters asking the Governor to override the COGCC and not appeal the Martinez ruling. “Broomfield is facing an unprecedented number of proposed oil and gas wells next to our homes, drinking water reservoirs, playgrounds and schools. It is imperative that people’s safety is ensured, when considering oil and gas proposals. We are asking the governor to let the Martinez case stand, and lead the way toward making policy changes that ensure public safety is the state’s highest priority,” said Broomfield City Council Member Kevin Kreeger.
The City of Broomfield is currently reviewing its oil and gas regulations in light of a 139-well proposal. “Broomfield has been working diligently on maximizing safety and minimizing impacts of big industry. It’s important we all come to the same table and discuss with equity health and safety of those living close to the area being developed and those working on site as well as our economic development. When we come together we can avoid polarization and work in the middle where most can agree,” said Broomfield Councilwoman Sharon Tessier.
During the 2017 Colorado State Legislative session, even minor attempts to bring about changes to the Oil and Gas Act were defeated – largely along partisan lines. “Governor Hickenlooper and the COGCC say public safety is their highest concern. Allowing the Martinez decision to stand is one important step in showing that commitment,” said State Representative Mike Foote (D, Lafayette). Foote carried three pieces of legislation that were defeated during the 2017 legislative session: one that would have required oil and gas facilities be set back 1,000 feet from school property lines, a bill to bring more transparency and higher consent levels to mineral owners facing Forced Pooling, and legislation to create a comprehensive map of oil and gas pipelines in Colorado.
“Coloradans are facing the impacts of oil and gas development from Durango to Windsor. They deserve to have their health and safety come first. They deserve to have input when it comes to Colorado’s oil and gas policies that effect their neighborhoods and communities. It is time for our leaders to step up and work toward balanced policies that put people’s lives first,” concluded Loflin.
Sara Loflin is the Executive Director of the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans or LOGIC. LOGIC is an organization working to elevate the voices of Coloradans living with current and proposed oil and gas development in public policy decisions. She can be reached at email@example.com or 303.819.6531.
Stacy Lambright is an impacted mom from Thornton. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.981.0817.
Kevin Kreeger is a member of the Broomfield City Council. Kreeger lives in Broomfield with his wife and their kids. Kevin designs and implements ISO and FDA compliant Quality Assurance programs for manufacturers and software developers. He can be reached at email@example.com or 720.982.3751.
Sharon Tessier is a mother, wife, neighbor and friend. Tessier is full time faculty at MSU Denver and was elected onto Broomfield City Council in 2013. She plans on running for her second term where her focus is building a resilient community, researching and implementing affordable and attainable housing options for those who want to live and work in their home town, and to advocate for people with mental illness and reduce the stigma that surrounds diseases of the brain. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.641.5433.