A call for uniform oil and gas measures | AspenTimes.com

A call for uniform oil and gas measures

Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance members have worked for over 20 years with dozens of citizen groups and elected officials to promote better oil and gas regulations that protect health, safety and the environment. Advocating for improved air quality standards is important when industry drills into our neighborhoods.

Having one set of state air quality regulations for the oil and gas industry would not harm the economies of the Western Slope, as the Garfield County commissioners allege. The state health department confirms that semi-annual requirements for leak detection and repair on the Front Range have not impacted industry growth.

The Western Slope is experiencing another energy bust — natural gas prices, which are dictated by the international marketplace, are the lowest in years because there is a supply glut nationally. Let’s get real: Colorado’s air quality rules in this worldwide oil and gas marketplace have little sway on NG/LNG prices.

Our region will remain in a bust as long as energy companies are burning off natural gas in the Dakotas and paying to have it taken from the wells in New Mexico. Whatever the Garfield commissioners do to suppress new oil and gas air quality standards will not affect the worldwide glut of natural gas. However, their efforts can impact our health.

When the commissioners allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose new oil and gas regulations on the Western Slope, they are defending industry at the expense of our wellbeing.

Fortunately, the majority of participants at the recent Air Quality Control Commission hearings support our position — the Western Slope deserves the same air quality standards as the rest of the state.

Leslie Robinson

Chair, Grand Valley Citizens Alliance