Local control battles in Colorado cut both ways

Sunday, 12 November 2017, 09:40:45 AM. Across Colorado, communities have wrestled with the local impacts of oil and gas development. Repeatedly, the cry has come for more local control. What local control means, however, depends on the …
Across Colorado, communities have wrestled with the local impacts of oil and gas development. Repeatedly, the cry has come for more local control. What local control means, however, depends on the locality. Broomfield just went through an exhausting negotiation with a driller to reduce the number of planned wells and place them further from homes. Lafayette last week approved a six-month drilling moratorium while it decides how to upgrade its oil and gas ordinances; at the same time, some residents called for an outright ban. Meanwhile, the Greeley City Council approved a 22-well project, against homeowner protests, in the suburban Triple Creek area, and the Garfield County Commission this coming week will vote on issuing a local permit to a project that will drill closer to homes than the state’s 500-foot setback rule. The county planning commission has already approved the plan. At the moment, perhaps nothing signals the local split in viewing oil and gas development than two draft letters to the governor circulating among local officials. A letter by Broomfield Mayor Randy Ahrens calls for stronger state rules and greater local control. “We are calling upon you to work with us to achieve these goals and address this controversial issue, which is dividing our communities,” the letter said. A letter by Greeley Mayor Tom Norton maintains there are enough state and local rules, and the key is using them effectively and cooperating with the state and industry. “There are...Read more
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