Category Archives: 350 Colorado

MY REMARKS AT FRACK OF THE STATE, FRACK OF THE CLIMATE EVENT ON BEHALF OF THE LARIMER ALLIANCE, JANUARY 17, 2023

Good morning, people. My name is Ed Behan and I am with the Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety, & the Environment.

Yesterday there were many celebrations of the life and times of the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr, and his lifelong quest for social justice. And now here we are demanding environmental justice. This is sometimes dismissed as not being a related issue. However I don’t think I need to remind folks that the efforts of Cultivando, the community around the Bella Romero Academy, and tribal groups who resisted the Dakota Access Pipeline and other extractive incursions on native lands, only serve to demonstrate that the issues are intertwined and always have been.

Three years ago, with the passage of Senate Bill 19-181, this State made the remarkable first step of reordering the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to prioritize the protection of our communities’ health, our safety, and our environment.

The Larimer Alliance has advocated for improved local regulation under the mandate of that legislation, as well as lobbied at the State level during rulemaking processes.

We are all here to mark progress made. . . but also to mark that the first step taken has been a stumbling one at best. While new rules have been enacted, and new monitoring standards have been crafted, it is clear that everything from bureaucratic inertia to outright discouragement of effective enforcement has hindered our progress. This legislature has the opportunity and the duty to correct that and keep us moving forward.

Today, as in his inaugural speech last week, the governor is supposed to reaffirm his commitment to Colorado achieving the goal of having its energy needs met by 100 % renewable sources by 2040. But you all have seen the figures, you know the reality of the thousands of oil and gas permits that have been approved since he took office in 2019, and the hundreds more in the permitting pipeline. I’ll take a leap here, give Mr. Polis the benefit of the doubt, and assume we achieve the goal of Colorado’s energy needs being carbon free by the goal date. . . but where is all this oil and gas that is being developed going? I assure you, if it is not being burned here in Colorado, it is being burned somewhere else. And my friends. . . THAT AIN’T CARBON NEUTRAL!

WE ALL KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, AND WE NEED TO HOLD OUR LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE TO SEE THAT IT HAPPENS. THANK YOU.

LARIMER ALLIANCE AND 350 NORTHERN COLORADO RALLY BEFORE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING

Our friends from Colorado Rising and 350 Northern Colorado at the August 30 rally!

The Larimer Alliance and 350 Northern Colorado staged a rally outside the County Courthouse Tuesday morning, August 30, before the County Commissioners’ administrative matters meeting. They continued to call for the County to pro-actively enforce their own oil and gas regulations. Representatives from Colorado Rising, The Plymouth Congregational Church, Foothills Unitarian Church, Citizens Climate Lobby, and the Sierra Club were also present.

This coverage from the Loveland Reporter-Herald describes the rally, and the statements made before the Commissioners’ during the public comments section of the meeting.

https://www.reporterherald.com/2022/08/30/environmental-activists-rally-at-larimer-county-meeting/amp/

As noted in the coverage, the Commissioners had made statements following an executive session last week, indicating their intent to pursue more active enforcement of the County’s own regulations on new and existing oil and gas operations. This is a significant departure from their previous stance that such regulation would not be possible with existing facilities. We view this as a positive development, and hope to be part of the process of enabling such enforcement protocols.

Much of this focus on enforcement was prompted by concerns over the poorly operated Prospect Energy facilities North of Fort Collins, which had been causing health issues for local residents for years. Calls for more activity on the part of the County in dealing with this have been put forth by the Alliance and its regional allies. In another significant development, the Air Pollution Control Division finally enacted a shutdown order on the Krause tank battery in that area of Larimer County. This coverage from the Fort Collins Coloradoan details this State action, and includes comments from Alliance representative Doug Henderson:

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2022/08/25/prospect-energy-oil-gas-near-fort-collins-ordered-shut-down/65457107007/

Doug can also be heard in this interview on KGNU pubic radio our of Boulder, aired live just before our rally started. His section on the program picks up at about 6 minutes 50 seconds in the recording:

https://news.kgnu.org/2022/08/morning-magazine-podcast-tuesday-august-30-2022/

The Commissioners’ Administrative Meeting can be viewed in this video, with the public comments section opening the session:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J_COSc7IEw&ab_channel=LarimerCountyGovernment

These are all positive developments, and none of this would have been possible without the support and teamwork of our community and our great friends in all our allied groups. There will be more attention to be paid to ensure that effective regulation is really enabled, and acted upon. Our thanks to all of you for all you do. . .

Participants and signs at the August 30 rally
Participants and signs at the August 30 rally