Letter to the Editor (May 22)
May 22, 2019
Enact a Boulder County drilling moratorium now
We are members of The Lookout Alliance, a grassroots community group dedicated to protecting Gunbarrel, Heatherwood, and Niwot, Colorado from fracking. We call on the Boulder County Board of Commissioners to enact an immediate moratorium on all oil and gas drilling permits, pending the outcome of rulemaking stemming from the new Colorado law, SB19-181.
The fracking threat to unincorporated areas of Boulder County is immediate. The proposed massive Crestone Comprehensive Development Project would include 140 wells near us, on protected Boulder County open space. In addition, last November, many homeowners in our area received mineral lease request letters. This is the first step toward another immense drilling project, even without the consent of the majority of mineral owners. The unincorporated neighborhoods of Boulder County, and the beautiful open space lands that surround us (for which taxpayers have invested millions of dollars), are not protected by any city drilling restrictions. We need County protections now!
With the passage of SB19-181, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) are drafting new rules, which will take a year or more. It is critical that Boulder County take the time to establish meaningful protections against oil and gas development, in light of state-level rule changes and new local authority granted by the law.
Boulder County should join Adams County and the City of Lafayette who have already put moratoria in place. Now is the time to enact a new Boulder County moratorium to allow time for rules to be drafted, and to provide the opportunity for public participation in this process.
Boulder County residents can contact our Commissioners to ask for a moratorium now at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lon Goldstein, Gabrielle Katz, Kimberley Rivero