Fire ban does not apply to oil and gas industry

Happy 4th of July!

Pine Ridge fire 95% contained

Here in Gasfield County we don’t talk publicly about a lot of things oil and gas related — meaning in the media — too many contradictions. But here’s a problem we’ve been talking about amongst ourselves and now it’s out in the open.

Well flaring not prohibited by Stage 2 fire restrictions
Dry Hollow resident questions the safety of gas industry procedure; authorities say it is not a hazard

Photo by Debbie Guccini

Click here for more information on flaring and venting

As usual, experts — the BLM, COGCC, oil & gas industry, Burning Mtns Fire District — agree, everything is fine.

Not so fast. Here’s the state’s fire ban order:

Ban on Open Burning in the State of Colorado

Read the fine print [emphasis added]:

“An exemption to the opening burning restrictions set forth in this order may be granted only by county sheriffs or, within federal lands, by the administering federal agency, and only if the proposed burn is deemed by said sheriff or agency to be safe and subject to mitigation.  Should a wildfire occur as the result of the granting of an exemption to this order, the state of Colorado may, and likely would, deny access to state funds to pay for the costs of such a wildfire.

As I understand the article in The Paper, local officials from both Rifle Fire District and Burning Mtns Fire District have exempted the oil and gas industry from the opening burning ban because “they can’t stop flaring, or other things that are important to their industry.”

Wildfire smoke is bad for your health and triggers and CDPHE air quality advisories. Chemical soup from venting? No problem.  Open fires are banned due to extreme drought conditions across the state. Open flames from gas well flaring? A-ok.

This is how we live now …

New interview with Josh Fox:  Gasland Director Josh Fox on His New Film, Gas Industry Lies and Government Collusion

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