by Pam Zubeck
City Council's second reading of the oil and gas regulation ordinance won't happen until Dec. 11, but foes of the ordinance are already planning a protest rally.
We wrote about the ordinance in our latest edition.
Learn more about the protest, scheduled for noon on Dec. 11 in front of City Hall here.
And here's the announcement from the Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights:
On November 27th City councilmembers voted 6-3 to approve weak oil & gas regulations which would approve drilling in residentially zoned areas and fail to protect our right to clean and safe water, air, and soil. CSCCR commends councilmembers Martin, Snider, and Hente for voting “no” and standing up in favor of our community in spite of pressure from the COGCC and the oil & gas industry to pass them.
The decision to adopt these regulations should be a call to action for residents who are unwilling to silently consent to the plunder of our pristine natural landscapes and deterioration of our quality of life. The CSCCR rally will aim to bring attention to the inadequate oil and gas regulations scheduled for a City Council vote that afternoon. Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights (CSCCR) is a group working to encourage better regulation and an ultimate ban on the practice of hydraulic fracturing within the city limits.
CSCCR will call for a delayed vote so councilmembers can first accompany them on their “Bring Your Own Gas Mask Tour” and see the effects of drilling firsthand. All councilmembers and members of the media have been invited to this educational field trip to Rifle, Colorado where oil & gas drilling has been rampant and changed the lives of residents and their animals for the worst. The trip is scheduled for December 13, 2012.
CSCCR has concluded the proposed regulations do not offer any protection beyond what the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission already regulates. The COGCC’s record reveals their regulations are inefficient and unenforceable, working against the citizens of Colorado and in favor of the oil and gas industry. For example, there are only 17 inspectors for 47,000 active gas wells. The proposed regulations also do not require water quality testing or toxic air emission control, and are therefore unacceptable, according to the group.
“Our elected representatives should not be persuaded to accept weak regulations out of fear for ‘operational conflict’ or the threat of a lawsuit from industry or the state,” remarked Lemus. “The Colorado Constitution and Colorado courts recognize home rule powers for municipalities and ‘the full right of self-government in local and municipal matters’ to citizens. Councilmembers can still reverse their ‘yay’ votes from November 27th and exercise this right.”
Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights (CSCCR) is a group formed to protect our rights to be healthy and have clean air, water and soil. Our mission is to:
• Educate our city about oil & gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking);
• Work with local, state and federal governments to ensure comprehensive oil & gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing regulations;
• Place a rights-based charter amendment on the ballot in Colorado Springs banning hydraulic fracturing.