Dear Gov. John Hickenlooper,
I attended the Garco AGNC and one final remark you made was about the necessity of communication and hearing the whole story. Interesting because it was a carefully controlled meeting on who could ask questions and definitely not a forum, although supported by tax and assessment dollars.
You heard [County Commissioner] Mike Sampson extol the $200k they spent on a Grouse study, nodded and spoke in agreement of moving forward. Yet the study was not done by a firm expert in anything but political lobby presentations funded in part by ALEC.
[County Commissioner] John Martin pleaded to take school lands. But I would ask why not R.R. lands of every other section each side of the track? They were all granted by the same government.
The elected officials asked about water and you made good points about water needing to serve all. But you forgot the Colorado Constitution says the people own the water. Water “rights” are a privilege grant to first askers. Where the state goes wrong is allowing water rights to be treated as property — they are a privilege grant subject to use and needs.
Colorado is quite Populist in its charter. You talked of split estate and 1876 mining law. A person may own the mineral and the law grants access to it, but zoning and land use has law that says what is acceptable to so. Therefore, you can’t use nuclear explosions to remove a mountain top to get to gold you own.
In the case of O&G, the horizontal technology may not yet be good enough to reach over the 5 miles they are doing now, so the mineral owner may have assets awaiting further technical improvement. That person is still in the same boat he was 20 years ago. Why? Because the Home Rule municipalities have that power under the State Constitution to equal the State in health, safety, and well being decisions and they say extraction companies haven’t proved otherwise.
You were embarrassed by the frac fluid question but your response was fair and reasonable; however, to leave an impression that this is other than prototype and not actually being used in production is “quibbling” or fallacy by intentional omission.
From my own interests, I had a question to ask, “Considering the staff and interns you mentioned and yourself, was there anyone that could have responded to the 2 letters I sent you concerning the Parachute spill?” [Letter 1; Letter 2] I gather the change from COGCC jurisdiction to CDPHE about a week and a half after my first letter means it may have been read and acted on; but the second letter has gone to limbo.
You spent a proper amount of time shaking hands with people who wouldn’t vote for you as an only candidate, yet the few people that did vote for you had to walk out the door without speaking.
I remember your ads for election. You took showers with your clothes on after campaign activities. Do you still do that after stiffing constituents who voted for you?
*Bob Arrington is a retired engineer and the Battlement Mesa citizen representative on Garfield County’s Energy Advisory Board (EAB). He also represents the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance and the Battlement Concerned Citizens.