The end of Silt as we know it

November 9, 2011

Garfield County, gas wells, Silt

Latest update:  Because Antero has pulled the application from the COGCC website and is reviewing it, the hearing which was scheduled for December has been delayed. The Silt town staff has asked that when the COGCC hearing is re-scheduled it be held in Silt or Rifle. They have also asked for a meeting with Antero in the next week or two.

Like a lot of other people, we’re still grappling with the news. Even though the process has been slowed down, that provides little emotional relief. News of the application was like a kick in the gut. As it sinks in, so do the realizations. We can ask for money to dig new wells. We can ask for air quality monitoring. We can ask for closed drilling systems. We can ask for chemical markers. We might even be granted one of those requests. But we can’t stop the drilling.

This article tells it all, there’s too much money at stake:  Oil and gas industry has Garfield County flush with cash
Fund reserves total about $120M

So it’s all good for GarCo. But I think it’s weird how at the same time the school district had to go begging for money from the taxpayers, which was voted down. Seems like the average citizen should see more tangible benefits from all this environmental destruction than a scrapped health assessment study and yet another county agency whose members will act like the money belongs to them.

With the increased drilling activity – up to 850 new wells – Silt will change a lot over the next six years. Some people will look on this change entirely from an economic standpoint. Gas development will be good for the Silt economy. The town will probably get a grocery store. Alpine Bank might even lower their standards and open up a branch here. Maybe that’s all Silt ever had going for it. A lot of gas …

For me and my famly, like many other locals I’m sure, this is the time to weigh our options. As it is now we don’t drink Silt water and don’t consider it safe to drink, even with a water treatment system in our home, including a reverse osmosis tap, plus a PUR filter on our refrigerator dispenser. Last summer we recognized some of our own health issues listed among the “common symptoms of exposure to long-term, low levels of hydrogen sulfide” emissions. At least now we know what’s poisoning us. Air and water quality will only worsen with increased drilling activity.

As evidenced by their behavior in the initial application process, Antero would prefer the public not have the right to defend public health, the environment, and our property values. While we still have the right to do so, that is exactly what we’ll do. We’ll go out fighting.

In other news –

State unveils fracking chemical disclosure rules
Comments sought through Nov. 23, formal hearing set for Dec. 5

A bad case of too little too late. The trade secrets exemption makes these rules useless. Also where is the verification? The operators will be required to file chemicals disclosure reports. So what? No one will ever verify whether the reports are accurate. And what will come of that? Will they be required to marker the chemicals so they can be traced to our water supplies? Fat chance. Government continues to allow the operators to monitor and regulate themselves with little or no oversight or penalties. These disclosure rules patronize the public with a wink and nod to the industry.

BLM experiments with camouflage to hide renewable power structures

This article is hilarious. Since when is a natural gas compressor station part of renewable energy?

Scenic impacts often heighten conflicts over development on public land, and the BLM hopes to reduce them. “We don’t want to have a scarred landscape out there,” says Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp. President Guy Cramer, who created the current design.

Is this what they mean by “scarred landscape”?

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