West Slope Way is the mafia way

December 11, 2014

Colorado, oil and gas drilling

Tisha Schuller, left, of Boulder and Patrick Keating of Grand Junction hold signs in support of the natural gas industry at the well-attended press conference of advocates for the industry at the Farm Fresh Cafe in Rifle. The oil/gas task force met in rifle to hear testimony about rules for drilling activity. More than 350 supporters met at the rally before the task force took public comment Wednesday evening. [Photo by Dean Humphrey/The Daily Sentinel]

Tisha Schuller, left, of Boulder and Patrick Keating of Grand Junction hold signs in support of the natural gas industry at the well-attended press conference of advocates for the industry at the Farm Fresh Cafe in Rifle. The oil/gas task force met in rifle to hear testimony about rules for drilling activity. More than 350 supporters met at the rally before the task force took public comment Wednesday evening. [Photo by Dean Humphrey/The Daily Sentinel]

I had a feeling that the oil & gas task force meeting in Rifle on Wednesday would turn into an industry love fest. And boy howdy did it ever.

Activists in Rifle make feelings known on energy’s ‘West Slope Way’ [subscribers only]

… Officials from several Western Slope counties spoke of the use of energy master plans, advisory boards, local government designees, conflict-resolution organizations, educational efforts like rig tours and other means to address concerns arising related to oil and gas development.

It’s an approach that the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association touted in a white paper released Wednesday as being the “West Slope Way,” and an approach supporters believe should be tried before more regulations are imposed on the industry …

… More than 300 people on Wednesday attended a separate rally involving West Slope COGA and area government and community officials to tout the “Western Slope Way” concept and warn against unnecessary new regulations. Representatives with Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties, Club 20, the Grand Junction and Rifle chambers of commerce and others spoke in support of the concept …

Just one question. If everything is so hunky dory, then why in the world do the oil & gas supporters in the photo above look so mad? First of all, they got paid to be there. Plus they have everything they want — more gas wells, more jobs, more socks and underwear at Walmart — you name it. The oil & gas industry rules western Colorado like the mafia. That’s their “Western Slope Way.” COGA’s Tish Schuller can’t possibly be frowning at the remote prospect of more regulations. New regulations won’t make any difference. The state doesn’t enforce the rules and regulations already on the books.

And another thing. Where is this Western Slope Way “white paper”? I can’t find it anywhere.

There was a “discussion of human health and public safety” on the agenda for Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. Apparently it was canceled in favor of breaking up into small groups and discussing priorities. Which tells you something about the task force priorities. Human health and public safety? Not exactly big priorities.

If you were unable to attend the meeting or listen to the livestream — John Martin put me right to sleep — you didn’t miss much other than an oil & gas pep rally.

These articles sum it up –

County officials, citizen groups address state O&G Task Force

West Slopers split on new gas regulation

Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force hears Western Slope voices

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8 Comments on “West Slope Way is the mafia way”

  1. Leslie Robinson Says:

    Here are some health FACTS from the GarCo sponsored Battlement Mesa “Health Impact Assessment:” http://www.garfield-county.com/environmental-health/battlement-mesa-health-impact-assessment-ehms.aspx And these FACTS come from research conducted by the University of Colorado School of Public Health. What lobbyist did the workers receive their health information from?

    You know, this O&G health impact fight reminds me of the old cigarette smoking wars. Let’s take pity of these workers who know not better. But, should we remind them the Marlboro Man died of lung cancer?

  2. maryinline Says:

    Great photo Peggy! I’m listening to Amy Hadden-Marsh’s newscast, on KDNK, on the meeting, right now. I would have been there too, if I wasn’t currently serving on a jury in GWS.

    She reports that only a little over 10% of the people who oppose the way O&G is doing business were represented.

    Again, Colorado Community Rights Network offers communities a way to regroup, and restructure their local governments to work under home rule.

  3. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Lisa Bracken walked out during public comments because the O&G supporters were so rude.

    There are many reasons why the people who are concerned about oil & gas impacts didn’t attend.

    They didn’t get paid to attend like the oil and gas supporters did.

    They don’t believe the task force represents a democratic process and is too political to accomplish anything.

    They run a local business and they know if they speak out against oil & gas drilling their business will suffer because they’ve seen it happen many times.

    They’re sick like me. I’m one of the sick ones now so I know how many of us are out here.

    They work two jobs and have kids, horses, cats, dogs, sheep depending on them — and in some case one or more of them is sick.

    Look at it this way. The oil & gas industry did the job for us. They showed the task force the West Slope Way. They took over the meeting, dominated the conversation, and squelched the opposition. That’s exactly how they do business here. I wasn’t even there. I listened on the livestream. And that came through loud and clear. If the task force members in the damn room didn’t get the obvious message on display, then they either work for the industry, or they’re too dumb to be on the task force.

  4. Fiona Lloyd Says:

    “Truck slides, spills natural gas drilling water near Rifle”

    says the Glenwood Post Independent euphemistically today – the phrase “fracking water” isn’t used. Too scared or too much in the pockets of the boys?

    Pathetic.

  5. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Well you know we all made such a GD big deal out of the last time they spilled frackwater. And there’s KW out front telling us nothing happened here, move along.

  6. Joe hultqiist Says:

    The claim that people were paid to be there is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life you’re obviously mad because you have no support

  7. maryinline Says:

    I know for a fact that the meetings held by the Community Counts group are held during business hours, and the members are on the clock during the meeting. I was a member, but had to leave work to make the 3pm meetings in Parachute, at 1:30pm. I asked the group to consider meeting after 5pm, and I was told that members of the industry would not be able to attend if it was held after 5pm. Why? I wasn’t given a viable answer, so my best guess is that any meeting held after 5pm wouldn’t be covered in their salary.

  8. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Or to put it another way, Joe, prove to me they were not on the clock

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