Kids take on COGCC

December 17, 2013

Colorado, fracking, oil and gas drilling

Don’t frack our future!

Please take the time to watch this powerful message delivered by Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, 13-year old youth director for Earth Guardians, a dedicated group of children, youth, parents, schools, and organizations committed to peaceful activism on behalf of the environment.

On November 15, the group filed a legal petition against the Colorado Oil & Gas Commission and the Department of Natural Resources to demand an immediate moratorium on all fracking permits, until they can prove that the process has no adverse impacts on public health and the environment. Along with the petition, the group hand-delivered nearly 1,000 signatures from youth and supporters demanding a statewide ban on fracking.

Denver Channel 4 News covered the Earth Guardians’ press conference —

On Monday, December 16, the COGCC posted the petition on their website with this statement:

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission received a request for rulemaking from Earth Guardians. The COGCC will consider initiating this rulemaking at the January 27-28, 2014 Hearings.

COGCC Executive Director Matt Lepore commented on the EG petition in a Denver Business Journal interview.

Teens and tweens petition to stop fracking in Colorado

A group of eight 9-15-year-olds from Boulder, Lafayette and Englewood have asked state regulators to stop issuing permits for drilling oil and gas wells, or for fracking them, “until it can be done without adversely impacting human health,” safety, or Colorado’s climate, water, earth and wildlife.

The petition was filed Nov. 15 by the Boulder-based Earth Guardians with the Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), the state agency that regulates the state’s multibillion-dollar oil and gas industry. It’s available here, on the COGCC website.

“The COGCC will consider initiating this rulemaking at the January 27-28, 2014 Hearings,” the agency said in a note posted on its website.

COGCC Executive Director Matt Lepore said the petition was posted to the COGCC website Monday, after the commissioners decided to hear the children’s request for a new rule.

The petition was filed under a state law that allows individuals to ask the state to make rules, change them or repeal them …

… Lepore, in an interview, said it’s unusual for the COGCC to get requests for rulemaking procedures.

“It’s a broad request,” Lepore said of the petition.

“Part of it I think are not clearly in our jurisdiction, but fundamentally, our staff is going to review it,” he said.

At the COGCC’s January hearings, the agency’s staff will make a recommendation and the petitioners, as well as other interested parties, will be invited to make presentations, Lepore said.

“There’s not going to be a rulemaking in January, but there will be a decision on whether to proceed with the rulemaking,” Lepore said.

“They’re asking us not to issue any drilling permits until the other things that they’ve asked for are undertaken and completed, and I think they things they are asking for would involve a number of state agencies,” he said.

For example, Lepore pointed to the request that the state halt drilling permits until its been determined how oil and gas production, processing, transportation and use “cumulatively affects climate change.”

“That’s broader than the COGCC,” Lepore said.

The petition also called for the commission to work with other state agencies to “adopt a state climate recovery plan by March 15, 2014,” and publish annual reports on statewide greenhouse gas emissions, verified by an independent third-party, from the industry on its website.

Earth Guardians website

Earth Guardians on Facebook

earth guardian kids“History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.” ~ Nelson Mandela

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