Pitkin stands up for Thompson Divide | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin stands up for Thompson Divide

Dear Editor:

Thank you to the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners for holding a public meeting concerning the Bureau of Land Management gas leases in the Thompson Divide area, which are due to expire in the next few months.

I feel, once again, that Pitkin County is doing Garfield County’s dirty work. Your diligence and commitment to protecting the quality of water, land and air is crucial. Thompson Divide is truly a beautiful and pristine area, key to the economic viability of the valley. Whether you are a rancher, businessperson, recreationalist, hunter or general outdoor enthusiast, the area represents why many of us chose to live here and why tourists choose to vacation here.

Pitkin County, in its fight to protect the area, serves as a model for other counties. Certainly the other night, the county commissioners provided the opportunity for many Pitkin and Garfield county residents to voice their strong opposition to further drilling in the area and stop the BLM from extending the leases.

Of particular concern is the watershed of Thompson Divide. I applaud Pitkin County’s efforts to highlight the threat of what drilling would have on the water quality, mostly because of unregulated fracking practices that have proven to have detrimental effects on water. There are no rules or regulations in place to protect the water from dangerous drilling practices. The science is not there. Allowing the leases to expire is the only sensible action to allow for the Environmental Protection Agency to catch up and recover from the deregulation of the Bush/Cheney era and allow science to determine the appropriateness of further drilling.

There are three things you can do to voice your opposition to drilling in the Thompson Divide area:

1. Go online to the Thompson Divide Coalition website, and sign the petition to the BLM to stop the extension of the leases – http://www.savethompsondivide.org.

2. Contact your elected officials:

• Rep. Scott Tipton (225 N. Fifth St., Suite 702, Grand Junction, CO 81501; email: adam.eckman@mail.house.gov).

• Sen. Michael Bennet (1127 Sherman St., Suite 150, Denver, CO 80203; email: noah_koerper@bennet.senate.gov).

• Sen. Mark Udall (400 Rood Ave., Suite 215, Grand Junction, CO 81501; email: jerry_otero.markudall@senate.gov).

3. Spread the word on social media.

Ruthie Brown


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