O&G targets Firestone again | AspenTimes.com

O&G targets Firestone again

Colorado’s largest oil and gas driller, Kerr-McGee, is asking for a waiver from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s (COGCC) 2,000-foot setback requirement for extraction operations from schools and dwellings.

You’re not going to believe where Kerr-McGee wants to drill 26 wells within 2,000 feet of 87 homes, at least one as close as 763 feet. Firestone, the Front Range community that was rocked by a gas explosion from a severed line that killed two people just five years ago. Apparently, the industry isn’t going to satisfied until the entire town is wiped out.

The COGCC established the 2,000-foot setback in 2020 in light of data that showed people who lived or worked within a half-mile of oil and gas activity experienced a higher incidence of hospitalization. Also, it’s known drilling facilities emit high amounts of carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and per and polyflouralkl substances (PFASs).

In return for the waivers, Kerr-McGee is promising to use electric rigs rather than the noisy gas-powered ones, drilling muds that don’t contain VOC’s and PFSA’s, monitor emissions, and follow all Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidelines, all steps they should be taking in any case.

Why is the industry so intent on plopping their polluting operations right next to already developed properties? Why don’t they set them up out in the sticks? Because the infrastructure, the roads, the water, sewer, and power lines are already in place and the industry doesn’t have to pay for the installation.

The COGCC has tabled Kerr-McGee’s waiver request until March 10. All those interested in preventing the oil and gas industry from heaping further disasters on the citizens of Colorado should contact the COGCC and demand they turn down Kerr-McGee’s request. Send the message, 2,000 feet means 2,000 feet.

Fred Malo Jr.