The Colorado Independent,2020
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Actor Mark Ruffalo didn’t win an Oscar for best supporting actor Sunday night for his role in “The Kids Are All Right,” but he did make headlines for his role supporting the anti-natural-gas-drilling documentary “Gasland,” which also came up short during the annual Academy Awards. Josh Fox’s “Gasland” film was up for best documentary – an award that went instead to “Inside Job” – and Ruffalo wore a blue water droplet pin to show his support for clean water and Fox’s investigation of the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, including incidents of water contamination in the gas patches of Colorado. The natural gas industry has gone to great lengths to debunk the film.
Residents of Garfield County neighborhoods impacted by natural gas drilling have been approached by a New York City firm that last year landed a $712.5 million settlement for workers injured in the World Trade Center cleanup. A representative of Napoli Bern Ripka LLP will attend a meeting of potential plaintiffs Feb. 22 at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, according to an activist group fighting to mitigate drilling impacts. Also on hand will be attorneys from the Aspen law firm of Thomas Genshaft PC.
As the debate over hydraulic fracturing and health issues related to natural gas drilling has heated up in Garfield County in recent weeks, KJCT News 8 in Grand Junction today is reporting an early morning fire at a Williams’ well eight miles south of Rifle. The fire was reportedly put out in about an hour and half, with minimal damage and no injuries, but the incident is sure to prompt even more calls for tighter local regulation of the oil and gas industry. Williams is the most active drilling company in Garfield County, which saw the second most drilling permits issued in the state in 2010.
Despite three Republican county commissioners seen as largely supportive of the oil and gas industry, one of the most heavily drilled counties in Colorado claims the state’s oil and gas drilling regulations “fail entirely” to address the cumulative impacts of increasing the concentration of natural gas wells, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
Colorado issued the third highest number of oil and gas drilling permits in state history last year, according to Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) Director David Neslin, but oil and gas representatives continue to argue that over-regulation is strangling the industry.
Citizen activists on Colorado’s Western Slope are pointing to a Texas case of well-water contamination caused by oil and gas drilling activity as a prime example of what they want to avoid in this state and what regulators should be guarding against in heavily drilled Garfield County.
The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices late last week ruled that a Denver-based political nonprofit likely violated Montana campaign finance and disclosure laws and should be hit with a civil penalty action. Western Tradition Partnership (WTP), a 501(c)4 originally registered in Colorado in 2008 by Republican operative Scott Shires, has been active in state, county and city elections in both Montana and Colorado, drawing criticism for last-minute attack mailers like the one aimed at Colorado state Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass, earlier this month.
Wednesday’s move by the Bureau of Land Management to proceed with more oil shale leases for Exxon Mobil and two other companies conjured up memories for some of the “Black Sunday” bust of May 2, 1982, when Exxon laid off 2,200 oil shale workers on Colorado’s Western Slope. But this time will be different, an Exxon spokesman told the Colorado Independent Thursday.
Time for the other shoe to drop in gas-rich Garfield County. First came the recession-fueled natural gas drilling bust starting in late ’08, and...
Debra Bonogofsky, a moderate Republican small businesswoman from Billings, Mont., thought she was a “normal person” until she ran for the Montana State Legislature in June. Then she found out through 11th-hour attack ads, fliers and mailings that she was an anti-gun, pro-abortion, union-backing Barack Obama supporter.