Lawmakers’ letdown |

Lawmakers’ letdown

Dear Editor:Western Slope property owners, beware! If you think you might have oil and gas under your land and don’t own the mineral rights, don’t look to Reps. Ray Rose or Josh Penry to protect your rights.House Bill 1219, introduced by Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, would have set up a process to handle disputes between property owners and energy companies holding the mineral rights. Curry says the current regulations don’t go far enough to protect landowners from damage to their land from well pads, pipelines, waste pits and roads. Her bill would have required companies to negotiate with landowners or pick an outside appraiser to negotiate contracts with landowners before drilling on the property.Voters in Ray Rose’s House District 58 (Montrose, San Miguel and Delta counties) and Josh Penry’s House District 54 (Grand Junction and Delta) might think they would support such a bill, given that energy development is rapidly accelerating in those areas. But Rose and Penry both voted against the interests of landowners in their districts by voting against Curry’s bill.Western Slope voters should call Rep. Rose and Penry and ask them why they abandoned landowners sorely in need of greater bargaining powers to protect their homes and families from energy companies that often needlessly damage property and harm the quality of life of land owners.Peggy RawlinsGrand Junction

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