Make your voices heard Jan. 29 | AspenTimes.com

Make your voices heard Jan. 29

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will meet Jan. 29 for approval hearings for Ursa Resources’ planned wastewater injection well right inside the Battlement Mesa PUD. To no one’s surprise, they’ve already received permission from the Garfield Board of County Commissioners after hearings and public input in November, but they still need the COGCC’s OK.

In September, a University of Colorado scientist published a study demonstrating strong evidence of injection wells causing increased incidence of earthquakes in the Raton Basin area along the Colorado/New Mexico border. The paper reports the pressure generated by these wells is enough to cause rock formations to slip along fault lines.

What do we do with the wastewater generated by Battlement Mesa’s gas wells? Cap off the wells. No wastewater. No problem. They shouldn’t have been there to begin with. The decision to allow drilling inside the PUD was unconscionable. The only reason Ursa wants wells there is the infrastructure is already there. They don’t have to build roads or water pipelines.

My parents retired to Battlement Mesa in the ‘80s. To see what’s happened to that lovely retirement community makes me very sad.

I know the Battlement Mesa residents have fought this battle before and tasted defeat. I understand why they would be discouraged, but they have to realize the only way to get through to the drill-baby-drill people is to keep drilling into their skulls until you strike reason and humanity.

Denver is a three-hour drive. Traveling over the Rocky Mountains in the middle of winter is perilous. Carpool, take the bus or the train, but get there on Jan. 29 to let the COGCC know what you think of what the oil and gas industry is doing to Battlement Mesa.

No doubt, the COGCC will approve Ursa’s proposal, but we need to get our opposition on the record, just like we did recently when approval for drilling came up for Broomfield, Boulder and Weld counties. Oil and gas drilling belongs nowhere near residences, schools, fresh water supplies and, in fact, nowhere at all considering the impact it has on climate change.

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale


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