Monday, January 28, 2013

Fracking failures Colorado and the oil and gas Industry fear being published

Below are some of the most relevant talking points (COGCC facts) about OG/Frack Mining in Colorado.

Please feel free at any time to reach out to me with any questions. Stay tuned for new data/research coming as well.

Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Data and Failures

ü 43% of all operator spills result in groundwater contamination.

ü 3.1% of all operator spills result in surface water contamination.

ü 57% of all protective berms fail to prevent secondary industrial liquid waste migration.

ü 2003-2012 Weld County, CO - 1.7 million gallons of produced water and oil never recovered from the ground after operator spills. It's still in the environment.

ü 2.4 billion square feet of surface has been contaminated by 1,000 O&G surface spills. Study:1,000 spills in Weld County, CO

ü Laramie-Fox Hills Aquifer was contaminated with toluene and thermogenic gas by an O&G operation in 2009 - Weld County, CO

ü Colorado has 129,073 Completed O&G wells. ~48,000 are active and ~81,000 are inactive.

ü Early statistics show that ~55% of all abandoned wells are being re-entered/re-drilled.

ü Colorado has over 5,000 reported industrial waste spills on record.

ü There have been 3,552 oil and gas related public complaints filed with the COGCC.

ü The burden of expense has been shifted to the local emergency response departments to battle any fires or mishaps. This expense has been shifted by the oil and gas industry to citizen tax payers, meaning 'you.'

ü There have been 3,964 'Notice of Alleged Violations' filed by the COGCC.

ü There are 825 unique oil and gas operators listed at COGCC.

ü There are 693 'UIC SIMULTANEOUS DISPOSAL', 'UIC ENHANCED RECOVERY', 'UIC DISPOSAL' sites in Colorado. Approximately 300 are active.

ü There are over 5,000 pits in Colorado of all statuses.
ü There are 11 gas storage facilities in Colorado.
ü There are 168 gas processing plants in Colorado.
ü There are 183 gas compressor stations in Colorado.
ü There are 108 gas gathering systems in Colorado.

ü There are more than 4,000 active oil and gas wells closer to homes than the COGCC 350' setback mandates, thus denying the state to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts to human health... EPIC FAILURE BY THE STATE?

ü COGCC has failed to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental and human health impacts in accordance with their mission statement.

LARAMIE FOX-HILLS AQUIFER CONTAMINATION (EPA know frack fluid Toluene and thermogenic 'frack gas' contaminates private well water and Colorado's largest aquifer)

Home Explodes, Resident Transported to Burn Center - Cause: Orphaned Natural Gas Well 


GROUNDBREAKING - Air Pollution and Natural Gas Operations Air Study Report

SouthWestern Energy Sends Letter to COGCC - Recognizing Setback Loophole


Hidden Climate Threat - Not so Hidden Really?

Research Published and sent to the Gov et al - The Gov clearly needs to admit the State of Colorado has failed to prevent adverse impacts to the environment and its citizens. Governor, you are grossly negligent!


Much more in the blog have a look around...



Friday, January 25, 2013

Chesapeake Energy Leaked Memo Exposes Gov Hickenlooper as Oil and Gas Industry Shill with Zeal to Punish!

Political Background

The Colorado political landscape is controlled by Democrats. As a moderate Democrat, Governor John Hickenlooper has enjoyed the luxury of having a divided House and Senate to kill the extreme agenda from either side. This year he will have his hands full governing with a Democrat Majority in both the House and Senate.  His relationship to the oil & gas industry is strong and he has been a national leader speaking out against the anti-fracturing forces that have invaded Colorado.  His administration has sued one Local Government over the issue and will likely join an industry lawsuit over a referendum that banned hydraulic fracturing in that same community. His appointments to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission have been fair and they are holding the industry to high standards but do have the zeal to punish the industry as was the case under Governor Ritter.

The Senate numbers remain unchanged.  The Democrats are still firmly in charge with a 20 - 15 margin.  The Senate President is a moderate but the New Majority Leader is an anti-oil and gas populist.  She has aspirations of being Attorney General and possibly Governor and is using the anti-fracturing sentiment to get her wider exposure to the media.  The good news is that there are at least three democrats in the Senate that do not want to have a fight over hydraulic fracturing and we have a good chance to sway them on that and other oil and gas issues.   On the Republican side, the Minority Leader is a good friend of industry.  We have strong supporters in the caucus and they will be able to help spread a pro-industry message.  In contrast, the House of Representatives has flipped back to being strongly Democratic with a 37-28 majority. There are 20 new legislators in the House.  Many are trying to hold their commitments to the environmentalists to a minimum and wish to do more for the industry.  The new Democratic Speaker is a moderate on oil and gas issues and wants to align his position with the Governor wherever possible.  The Majority Leader hales from Boulder County, a hot bed of anti-oil and gas sentiment.  She is trying to be a moderating influence but has strong proclivities to put local government in control of all oil and gas siting decisions. The new Minority Leader is also a good friend to industry and we also have strong supporters throughout the caucus. 


Colorado’s 120 day legislative session, combined with a new Governor and change of control of the House of Representatives, means that there will likely be many bills affecting oil and gas development in Colorado.

Chesapeake’s 2013 Priorities are:
·       Work with the administration to advance NGV station development and vehicle conversion.

·       Oppose hydraulic fracturing bans, unreasonable setback, and local control legislation.

·       Protect the industry from unwarranted budget-related tax or fee increases.
·       Respond/capitalize as needed on other bills that may be forthcoming as the legislature convenes in mid-January and starts its work.

NGV Development 
Chesapeake is providing the major leadership for reinvigorating natural gas vehicles in Colorado.  COGA has developed an outline for where stations need to be developed.  Chesapeake has developed a relationship with the major investor owned utility and has performed outreach to municipal and rural utilities.  We are working with the administration to educate DNR and CDOT staff about NGV vehicle and station technologies.  The Governor has gotten 22 other Governors nationally to push forward with fleet conversions as a signal to Detroit that if you build them there will be a market.

·       The goal for Colorado will be to bring to fruition a funding source to match Chesapeake’s financial commitment for station development.
·       Work with the Colorado Energy Office and Department of Natural Resources and Department of Transportation to corral $10 million for station development grants from Federal Congestion Management and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds.
·       Work with the Colorado Energy Office to support a repeal of the NGV sticker and replace it with a comparable excise tax like other fuels.
·       Work with Petroleum Marketers Association to gain access and commitments to station sites.
·       Continue to work with XCEL and other utilities to improve pipe line and LDC delivery of fuel to station sites.
·       Support legislation that encourages state and local fleet conversions.


This is an issue that will take center stage this session.  Last session there was legislation that would have altered setback distances and one that would have given outright control of siting decisions to local governments.  The issue is being driven by one county in particular, Boulder, but several other counties are interested in pushing this issue as well.
·       Meet with legislators to describe operational issues associated with setbacks that are too restrictive.
·       Support the Governor, Weld County, other local governments and businesses who do not want to see a change.
·       Work with the agricultural industry associations and Home Builders to be part of a coalition to oppose anti-industry legislation.


Colorado for the first time in since 2008 is not facing a declining revenue picture.  This is welcome relief.  The growth is small and is clearly dependent on the national recovery and the European monetary crisis.  The K-12 interest groups are pushing to increase revenue to make up for revenue “lost” during the recession.  However, the Washington D.C. left “fiscal cliff” deal is projected to cost the State approximately $100 million of lost revenue because higher income earners and retirees are selling stocks to get the lower capital gains rate in 2012.

There will likely be pressure to eliminate tax credits and exemptions.  Severance taxes currently receive about a $300-500 million credit that was the subject of a ballot initiative two years ago.  The voters rejected the proposal by nearly 60%, and legislators have not wanted to go after it statutorily since.  However, the Governor has from time to time mentioned to executives of the industry that he would entertain the notion of industry helping to solve fiscal issues associated with the state budget.  There is a self-appointed School Finance interest group that has put out several suggestions for adding money to K-12 education.  Elimination of the severance tax deduction is on their list for adding revenue to the school finance formula.

·       Follow the COGA lead of preparing information about the amount of taxes in all forms that the industry pays to the state.
·       Talk about the need to keep tax rates stable and grow the oil and gas economy to increase revenue.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Setback Hearing

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association is trying to BAN public testimony.  PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL  and do whatever you can to make it tomorrow.



The following are updated Commission Hearing dates and location for January.

Monday, January 7, 2013 – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Place
Denver, CO  80202

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Place
Denver, CO  80202

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Place
Denver, CO  80202


Your question regarding public comment was forwarded to me from the Department of Natural Resources, Executive Office.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will be holding a hearing before the Commission on Monday, January 7th through Wednesday, January 9th, 2013.  This hearing is anticipated to last the full three days.  Attached is a copy of the agenda.

There are three main agenda items:  1211-RM-03, rulemaking regarding statewide water sampling; 1211-RM-04, rulemaking involving statewide setbacks; and normal commission business (consent agenda).  Rulemaking activities will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 7th and will likely conclude on Wednesday, January 9th.  The Commission will consider the normal commission business at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, January 7th.

In each rulemaking matter, there are prehearing orders that set forth the Order of Presentations and Allotment of Witness Testimony.  I have attached the 4th prehearing order in each matter to this email.  In each rulemaking respectively, public comment is the second in the order of presentations. 

We estimate that 1211-RM-03 will be primarily on Monday morning and 1211-RM-04 will begin on Monday afternoon and continue until completion whether that is Tuesday or Wednesday.  Public comment for 1211-RM-03 will likely be Monday morning and public comment for 1211-RM-04 will likely begin either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.  This is only an estimate.  Unfortunately, I do not have a more specific date or time to give you for public comment. 

Please note that in both 1211-RM-03 and 1211-RM-04, public comment has been taken at the previous commission hearings.

Public comment sign-up sheets will be available upon arrival at the hearing. 

Thank you.

Robert J. Frick
Hearings Manager
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 801
Denver, CO  80203

Phone: 303/894-2100 ext. 5152
Fax: 303/894-2109

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