Tomorrow afternoon, Colorado Springs City Council takes up the long-awaited adoption of oil and gas regulations, which will determine exactly how at least one Houston company goes about exercising its drilling operation in the city.
Ultra Resources owns about 18,000 acres on the city's east side and has been waiting for nearly a year for the city to adopt rules that will enable exploration to begin.
Council will meet at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave. The meetings normally begin at 1 p.m., but there's an executive session dealing with a Colorado Springs Utilities issue. I'm not a betting person, but if I was, I'd wager the issue deals with the Sierra Club's threat of a lawsuit if the city doesn't get rid of coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant from the downtown area.
But back to the more pressing environmental issue of oil and gas drilling: Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights plans a rally before the meeting, at noon.
If you want to read the back-up material, go to springsgov.com and then to agendas and minutes under the City Council tag.
If you want to have a say, bring a pillow. The item is No. 20 on the agenda, so you might have to wait a while. The Council has already planned a dinner break from 5:30 to 6:30, not a good sign.
Here's the anti-fracking news release:
Colorado Springs — Citizens will be rallying in front of Colorado Springs City Hall at noon Tuesday to
bring attention to the inadequate oil and gas regulations scheduled for a City Council vote that afternoon.
The rally is being organized by Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights (CSCCR), a group
working to encourage better regulation and an ultimate ban on the practice of hydraulic fracturing within
the city limits.
“This vote is one of the most important decisions of City Councilors’ lives, either approving or rejecting
proposed regulations for the oil & gas industry,” according to Karyna Lemus, a spokesperson for the
group. “How they vote on this fateful day will determine what our community will look like in the
upcoming years and what legacy we leave behind for future generations. As our councilmembers ponder
how they will vote, Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights will be there to remind them of
their duty as elected representatives of the people to act in the best interest of their constituents and
protect our right to clean air and water.”
CSCCR has concluded the proposed regulations are insufficient and will not protect citizens’ right to
abundant clean air, water, and soil. The COGCC’s record reveals their regulations are inadequate,
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. We remain hopeful that our
councilmembers will stand up for their citizens 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
Place a rights-based charter amendment on the ballot in Colorado Springs banning hydraulic fracturing.