Sunday, February 14, 2010

GarCo to rethink letting public seek drilling hearings

Despite all of their "good neighbor" talk, industry clearly doesn't really want to hear what citizens have to say.

By Dennis Webb
Saturday, February 13, 2010

Garfield County commissioners will reconsider the county’s support for a lawsuit seeking to give the public the right to request a state hearing on oil and gas drilling permits.

Commissioner John Martin said commissioners will revisit the issue Tuesday to discuss whether a court brief the county submitted in December accurately reflects the position laid out by commissioners in a prior discussion.

The county submitted the brief in an appeal by the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, Western Colorado Congress, Cary and Ruth Weldon and Wesley and Marcia Kent. A Denver District Court judge ruled against them in their challenge of a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rule barring the public from seeking a commission hearing on drilling permit applications.

The agency gives hearing rights only to the company seeking the permit, the landowner and local governments.

The Weldons and Kents own property in the area of a 1969 underground nuclear blast south of Rulison, and they want to be able to challenge drilling activity that is nearing the blast zone. More>>>