ONE OF OUR SUPPORTS IN LOVELAND SENT THE FOLLOWING LETTER TO HER CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, ANDREA SAMSON, REGARDING THE ISSUES SURROUNDING PROPOSED DRILLING NEAR CENTERRA BY THE MC WHINNEY DEVELOPMENT GROUP:
January 12, 2023
Economic growth in the City of Loveland is bound by a Uniform Development Code (18.01.01.02) designed to promote public health, safety, and the general welfare. Allowing hydraulic fracturing in the Centerra Region of Loveland violates this code and the city’s comprehensive plan. Below are just some of the ways that fracking is NOT compatible with the Uniform Code.
Code: Promote economic opportunity, encourage investment, and promote property values.
Reality: The Oil and Gas Industry provides less than 1% of the states total employment but is projected to cost $1.36 billion annually in damages to the environment. That is 1.5 times the total taxes and fees oil and gas brings to the state. (CO Fiscal Institute, 2022). Property values decline in areas polluted by noise, heavy large vehicle traffic, and toxic air caused by invisible fracking gas leaks verified by infrared cameras. (Earthworks, 2022) More and more property owners in Centerra are voicing their concerns and protesting the planned 26 wells that they want stopped. (multiple dates, Loveland Reporter Herald.)
Code: Promote good civic design and site layout.
Reality: Loveland allows reverse setbacks that allow drilling only 300 feet from businesses that employ people such as wholesale nurseries, storage yards, heavy industry, composting facilities, and essential utility facilities. Residential development other than high occupancy buildings is located only 500 feet from an existing oil and gas facility. (City of Loveland Planning Division). A majority of members of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission say “All homes and schools in Colorado should be protected from new oil and gas drilling by a 2,000-foot buffer or setback – four times the current standard for urban areas”. (The Colorado Sun, 9-9-20) In areas with dense oil and gas site layout we see lower birth weights, more children with congenital heart defects, and more childhood cancers. (CU Anschutz Professor Lisa McKenzie). Being close to drilling sites is also dangerous for the elderly and those with breathing issues.
Code: Promote fiscally responsible infrastructure and services.
Reality: The Oil and Gas industry has tens of thousands of orphaned wells that could cost tax payers billions of dollars to clean up. In addition to the financial burden “all of the science indicates that the dangerous gases that spew from wells are major contributors to climate change.” (Joe Salazar, Colorado Rising, 8-31-21). Climate caused disasters alone have cost the state between $20 billion and $50 billion since 1980. (Colorado Fiscal Institute)
Code: Lessen the risk of flood, fire, panic, and other dangers.
Reality: Fracking poses unique dangers to residential areas by subjecting families to known carcinogens like benzene. In 2017 fracking gases in Firestone combusted violently in a home causing serious injuries and 2 deaths. “Forced pooling” has allowed gas companies to annex mineral rights and drill beneath homes without the owner’s consent. Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions, like methane, contribute to severe weather leading to floods and wildland fires.
Code: Promote the conservation of energy, water, and environmental resources.
Reality: Fracking is a water intensive industrial process. It uses, 1.5 million to 16 million gallons of water per well, according to the United States Geological Survey.<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/how-much-water -does-typical-hydraulically-fractured-well-require__;!!HxSnvVm2WdNPEuU!rxwQM 2UytYawcVsFzHuVsPQh0pU4UIuY7unoMMcHMeGLKizQC9rLqOym5M-3MoidYtBPjn1HC7Uy0RVe3fj0kjSXBXEpbnsdgItRO70$>
We don’t get that polluted water back and we’re currently in a 1200 year drought.
Code: Promote the use of renewable energy.
Reality: To curb our climate crisis, we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels. That may have seemed far-fetched a decade ago given the cost of installing wind and solar at the time, but in 10 years, the price of solar electricity dropped 89%, and the price of onshore wind dropped 70%. (Rocky Mountain Institute, 2019). Continued use of fossil fuels is expensive and unnecessary.
Please consider the future of our city and adherence to the Uniform Development Code as you make your decision about allowing fracking in Centerra. For everyone’s health, safety, and the general welfare city leaders owe it to its citizens to not permit fracking within city limits.
Ward 2 Loveland
NANCY RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING REPLY FROM LOVELAND CITY COUNCILMEMBER ANDREA SAMSON:
Thank you for your email and the thorough, comprehensive and specific information you provided. I appreciate you taking the time to break each issue down and to relate it to code compliance with the examples directly from our code.
I have copied city manager Steve Adams and city attorney Moses Garcia in my response so that your email can be included in any information presented to council and/or planning commission in the event this issue comes before Council.
Thank you again, very much,
Loveland City Council