LOGIC will ensure a voice for Coloradans dealing with increased neighborhood drilling
On January 7, Community organizations across Colorado announced the formation of LOGIC (The League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans), to help Coloradans who increasingly face challenges that arise from oil and gas drilling near neighborhoods and homes.
“It is time to change the discussion around oil and gas development in Colorado – the right of the industry to develop minerals should not trump our rights,” said Dan Johnston, a co-founder of Windsor Neighbors for Responsible Drilling. “The issue is not pro- vs. anti- oil and gas development. We need a fair and balanced approach that protects Colorado residents from the risks and impacts of oil and gas drilling as oil companies continue to seek drilling sites closer than ever to homes and neighborhoods. Too many Colorado families are bearing an undue burden from oil and gas development.”
Communities across Colorado have sought both statewide and local reforms, including Longmont, which passed a citywide fracking ban on the 2012 ballot and attempted to institute a series of regulations through the city council.
“We hope to work with LOGIC to address new drilling proposals near homes and neighborhoods in Adams County,” said Jacky Kowalsky with Adams County Communities for Drilling Accountability NOW. “LOGIC has the potential to unite Coloradans living near current and proposed oil and gas operations with other concerned citizens in the state. Together with LOGIC we can pass new energy policies that prioritize public health and safety, protect homes and schools, and still allow for responsible oil and gas development.”
Sara Loflin, LOGIC’s executive director, said LOGIC will bring together a diverse group of Coloradans to help evaluate the policies, rules, practices, and processes that control urban oil and gas development. The issues surrounding neighborhood drilling for Coloradans spans party lines, economic backgrounds, and geographies.
“The oil and gas industry recently told the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to expect a marked increase in drilling in urban areas. Coloradans want safer locations for oil and gas developments that are best sited away from homes, schools, watersheds, and other economic resources upon which people’s livelihoods depend,” said Loflin. “LOGIC will help residents with expertise, research and regulatory experience that all impacted residents can access, regardless of geography or ideology.”
As Johnston, Kowalsky and other Coloradans have learned, Colorado communities often have to start from scratch in a time consuming and intensive process when trying to address issues that arise with neighborhood drilling proposals. LOGIC will provide support to those community members to better prepare them to work with oil and gas companies and state regulators.
“It may be too late for us in Battlement Mesa, but LOGIC will be an important ally as others work to address additional drilling near homes and try to protect their communities,” said Dave Devanney, co-chair of Battlement Concerned Citizens. “I support this group and its efforts to unite Coloradans living near current and proposed oil and gas operations. We and other Coloradans need to support new, smart energy policies that prioritize public health and safety, ensure respect for family homes and schools, and protect Colorado’s resources.”
LOGIC will seek statewide and local enhancements to current oil and gas regulations by showing policymakers the reality families face when an oil company proposes drilling next to their home or near their children’s school. In addition to providing quick support to impacted neighborhoods throughout the state, LOGIC will also offer Coloradans resources to explain all aspects of working with the industry and with the state regulatory agency.