The Home Front: Boulder eyes pollution tax on drillers as Longmont preps for fracking ‘deep underneath’ a reservoir

“Boulder’s City Council wasted little time Tuesday night in advancing two measures aimed at potential oil and gas drilling, including a pollution tax on any future extraction and a statement condemning an industry-backed ballot initiative,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Both items, on the consent agenda, were discussed only briefly. The pollution tax would be levied against drillers: up to $6.90 per barrel of oil and 88 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. The tax would apply only to resources extracted within city limits; there is currently no expressed interest or plans for such projects, and Boulder has a timeout on applications in place through June 2020. Councilwoman Cindy Carlisle was the only council member to speak about the tax, calling out statements made by industry group Colorado Oil and Gas Association in opposition. In remarks to the Camera, the group’s head Dan Haley called the measure a tax increase; Carlisle clarified that it was not a tax on citizens, but on drillers.”

“Longmont City Council was assured by the city staff Tuesday night that future fracking to free up oil and gas deposits deep underneath Union Reservoir — and the subsequent drilling and extraction of those minerals — pose minimal risks to the quality of the water it stores,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “During a study-session review of the staff’s research, however, several council members indicated they wish they had more of a guarantee that oil and gas companies drilling from surface sites far away from the reservoir and its shorelines could be held financially responsible for rapid and complete response to spills, leaks or other problems. Before the staff presented its report, however, a handful of residents stated their opposition to allowing hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling under the reservoir east of Longmont, even though the city is currently in a binding agreement the council approved last spring to keep wells and related equipment off the actual surface of city-owned lands near the reservoir.”

“A lawsuit alleging top Anadarko Petroleum officials misled investors by failing to disclose safety risks has been renewed after it was dismissed in June,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Filed earlier this month in the United States District Court, the securities class action lawsuit details a company that ignored safety regulations and deceived investors, Colorado regulators and the public. Philadelphia Iron Workers, which purchased Anadarko common stock, filed the suit against the company and three executives, on behalf of all people who purchased or acquired common stock between Feb. 8, 2016 and May 2, 2017, the latter date being when the Frederick-Firestone Fire Department linked the company to a fatal explosion in Firestone.”

“Larimer County intends to file a lawsuit against companies that manufacture and distribute opioid drugs, seeking compensation for harms to Larimer County caused by illegal use of the prescription drugs,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The Larimer County commissioners voted 2-0 Tuesday to hire the national law firm Keller Rohrback out of Seattle to handle a lawsuit on behalf of the county — a firm chosen and to be hired by all 13 Colorado cities, towns and counties that are looking at lawsuits as part of a coalition. Each city and county will file a lawsuit on its own behalf, though they are working together to send a message to the companies about the deadly and costly epidemic caused by the misuse of these pain killers, resulting in overdoses and community impacts across the country.”

“Every diploma issued by Colorado Mesa University since 2012 has been conferred by the chair of the university’s Coard of Trustees,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Yes, you read that right — the ‘Coard’ of Trustees.” It’s a typo. CMU will issue new diplomas.

“The Pueblo City Schools (D60) board may decide Thursday whether to ask voters to approve a property tax hike in the name of better education,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “At 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the board will convene in a special meeting to not only discuss the mill levy override ballot question but potentially take action on it. At 2:30 p.m., the board will accept public comments before discussing the matter prior to a potential vote. Thursday’s meeting follows an Aug. 2 work session during which potential ballot language was first presented. According to that proposal, the board would ask property owners who reside within the D60 boundaries to increase their taxes by $6 million annually through a 6-mill increase — an override of the current mill level limit.”

“Two local middle school students had the opportunity to embark on a unique learning experience that took them across the country this summer,” reports The Sterling Journal-Advocate. “Mason Vogel and Dillion Gretch, seventh graders at Sterling Middle School and Caliche Junior High, shared about their experience attending Envison’s National Youth Leadership Forum: Explore STEM program during an RE-1 Valley School board meeting Monday. Both students were nominated to attend the program by their fifth grade teacher at Campbell Elementary, Aubree Ross, who nominates 10 to 15 students every year. There are 200 students across the country invited to attend each year and they are able to choose from 10 different campus locations to attend the program. Vogel and Gretch attended the five-day program at Wake Forest University, in North Carolina, in July.”

“The tailwaters of Stagecoach Reservoir, which course through the Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area south of Steamboat Springs, are a critical breeding ground for a sub-species of disease-resistant rainbow trout,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Whirling disease is a parasitic disease that causes trout and salmon to become deformed. It gets its name from the tail-chasing behavioral pattern it causes when a fish is heavily infested — a condition that can kill a young fish. As fishery managers become more concerned by the impacts whirling disease has on the state’s trout population, the stretch of the Yampa River below Stagecoach Reservoir acts as a safety net. Should hatcheries fail, said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf, it’s a reliable broodstock of healthy fish.”

“Legendary actor and film director Clint Eastwood made a stop in Fort Morgan on Tuesday as he and his crew shot scenes for his upcoming film ‘The Mule,'” reports The Fort Morgan Times. “His team could be found camped out near the intersection of Morgan County Road R and Morgan County Road 17. Eastwood and his crew departed Fort Morgan on Wednesday morning in route back to New Mexico to continue shooting. According to Internet Movie Database, “The Mule” is a film about a 90-year-old horticulturist and World War II veteran caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Michigan for a Mexican drug cartel. The film is being produced by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Eastwood, who is still going strong at 88-years-old, is both acting in and directing the film. Other Hollywood names starring in the film include Bradley Cooper, Michael Pena, Laurence Fishburne, and Eastwood’s daughter, Alison Eastwood.”

“The investigation of a former Fremont County Sheriff’s Office deputy impacted a plea agreement in the murder case of the man accused of killing a Fremont County teenager last summer,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Tyler Delaney, 21, pleaded guilty on Monday to second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He was sentenced to 50 years in the Department of Corrections. District Attorney Molly Chilson said the investigation of Christopher Pape played into the plea agreement for Delaney. Pape, 30, who is free on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond, is facing charges of attempting to influence a public servant, theft between $5,000 and $20,000, and tampering with physical evidence, all felonies; and abuse of public records and first-degree official misconduct, both misdemeanors.”

“Construction is slated to begin next year on 22 workforce housing units at a vacant area just east of the Castle Peak Senior Care Community in the Eagle Ranch neighborhood,” reports Vail Daily. “On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the Eagle County Commissioners approved an agreement for preconstruction services and construction services for the $6.5 million project, which is proposed as a joint effort between Eagle County and the Eagle County Housing and Development Authority.”

“Durango city councilors began crafting the wording for a potential tax-increase question on the November ballot,” reports The Durango Herald. “At a work session Tuesday, councilors suggested general wording be refined to be as specific as possible to address deficits projected to grow to $2.3 million a year in 2027, beginning with a budget shortfall of $100,000 in 2020. “We don’t want to make it lengthy, but we want to be as specific as possible and avoid having generalities,” Councilor Chris Bettin said of the final product that would be presented to voters. Councilors left the discussion about whether to ask for a sales tax increase, a property tax increase or a combination of the two until a work session slated for Aug. 14.”

“After 19 months of public debate, the Denver Police Department will begin training officers this fall on a new use-of-force policy that directs them to use the minimum amount of force necessary to get a criminal suspect under control,” reports The Denver Post. “In other words, officers will be told there is no need to throw five punches when two are enough, and they should not use a baton to strike someone when physical restraints can get that person to comply with orders. The final draft was introduced Monday night to a community advisory panel that has been working hand in hand with the police department to rewrite the policy. And after months of infighting, everyone appeared to be on the same page as new Chief Paul Pazen explained his final decisions.”

“Over and over, residents and clean water advocates implored the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday evening to set enforceable drinking water standards for the toxic chemicals contaminating their water — and at tighter levels than the agency currently deems acceptable,” reports The Gazette. “Their pleas came during the EPA’s third stop in a nationwide tour meant to help its leaders create a management plan for the toxic chemicals, called perfluorinated compounds. It marked the first opportunity in more than two years for people affected by the toxic chemicals to sound off to the EPA on the contamination of their drinking water. Many argued that the EPA’s response was past due.”

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  1. For those concerned about fracking, there is a proven process for recovering water from fracking water. It leaves a lot less to be disposed of and it’s cost effective.

  2. For those concerned about fracking, there is a proven process for recovering water from fracking water. It leaves a lot less to be disposed of and it’s cost effective. Check out Origin Clear’s website. Responsible drillers are already using the process.

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