Category Archives: Local Politics and Elections

Evolving category of posts related to upcoming elections or other interactions with elected officials at the Colorado state and local levels at Fort Collins, Larimer County and Weld County

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

DEAR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: WE HAVE THE POWER!

Inspired by the May/June newsletter from the Poudre Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club, I sent the following email to our Larimer County Commissioners. Why? Because I, and the rest of the Larimer Alliance, are of the fervent belief that the Commisioners HAVE NOT BEEN ENFORCING THE LAW as written in SB-181. It seems that the Commissioners have been under the impression that they do not have the legal authority to regulate existing O&G operations — this is emphatically not the case, in our humble opinion!

See my email below for my reasons why:

Dear Commissioner Kefalas, 

Dear Commissioner Stephens, 

Dear Commissioner Shadduck-McNally: 

I would like to call your attention to the May/June newsletter of the Poudre Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club (attached). 

In there, it asserts, on sound legal grounds, that our county administrators have full authority under SB-181 to regulate existing oil and gas operations — no matter how long they have been in existence. 

That being the case, I would urge the commissioners to take stronger action to protect county residents from existing operations, such as longtime leaky tanks in northern Fort Collins belonging to Prospect Energy. For far too long, this operator has been getting by on inadequate repairs and flimsy excuses, while all the while continuing to expose local residents to the poisonous fumes escaping from them, and fouling the ambient environment. 

Just read/watch the first hand experience of Von Bortz, who lives in enough proximity of the Krause facility to suffer from its air pollution:

 Oil company hasn’t replaced leaking tanks near Fort Collins despite months of complaints

I hope the commissioners will take this suggestion in a positive manner, and know that we, the citizens of Larimer County, are only trying to enforce SB-181 in the spirit and letter of the law in which it as written and intended — and not reinterpreted in some way to twist it to protect the oil and gas industry. 

Sincerely, 

–​ Rick​

Rick Casey

webmaster: larimeralliance.org, larimerallianceblog.org, focosustainability.org, colivableclimate.org, ncalf.org

Larimer County manager sends message to COGCC about Prospect Energy

Today the Larimer Alliance learned that the Larimer County Community Director sent a letter to the COGCC regarding Prospect Energy, requesting that Prospect submit a Form 2A (location application for oil and gas operations) because the recompletions (redrilling the wells to a different formation) of 3 wells Prospect applied for last year are considered to be a significant change to the current operations. Prospect had originally applied only for drilling permits to drill to a different formation for the 3 existing wells.

A letter was also sent to Prospect Energy asking Prospect to comply with County oil and gas regulations.

The two letters are attached to this post.

The 41 page letter to the COGCC begins by stressing the proximity of the Prospect wells to residences (290 feet to the closest, and 22 homes within 1,000 feet), how this is in an Urban Mitigation Area, and is a “disproportionately impacted community”…and goes on from there, requesting the COGCC grant the request for a “Form 2A” review. The upshot seems to be, if granted, this will result in a delay and extra cost to Prospect…but a greater emphasis on proceeding safely, thereby increasing the chances that residents are not going to get exposed to more harmful pollution from unsafe operations — which Prospect has been known to do in the recent past.

COGCC-Letter-re-Prospect-Energy-Feb-9-2022

Prospect-Energy-Letter-Feb-9-2022

Comments by Tim Gosar on continued leakage from Prospect Energy Krause Tank Site N. of Fort Collins

Good morning Commissioners,


I’m Tim Gosar a long-time resident of Larimer County & coordinator of The Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety & the Environment. Thank you for this opportunity to speak & engage you this morning.


One of this commission’s great accomplishments was re-writing Larimer County’s O&G regulations that prioritized & better protected public health, safety, the environment and wildlife. Thank you very much for this! The next step after passing much better regulations is the fair & swift implementation of them.


You’ve heard the clear and convincing evidence regarding Prospect Energy’s polluting and general disregard for the health and safety of Vonn, Amy, Charley and all the citizens of Larimer County. Willfully polluting, poisoning and disregarding the health & safety of the residents of Larimer County, the environment and wildlife is very troubling to say
the least and must be stopped.


You passed new O&G regulations that went into effect on 9/15/21 that address this disregard for public health, safety and the environment that I’d like to point out & reference:


• 11.5 (Enforcement & Inspections) – Bottom of page 27
o 11.5.1 (Compliance)

• New & existing O&GF’s shall demonstrate compliance with this and all other relevant sections of this code. Failure of an Operator to maintain compliance with the County approval of an O&GF may result in the suspension or revocation of the approval pursuant to the procedures in this Code.

o 11.5.5 (Cease & Desist) – next page


▪ The Director has the authority to issue a Cease & Desist order, requiring the Operator to stop all affected O&G operations where there is: subsection (2) 3 or more documented violations which threaten public health, safety, welfare, wildlife or the environment within a (6) month time frame.


Colorado and Larimer County require that O&G gas is regulated in a way that prioritizes public health & safety, the environment and wildlife. Prospect Energy is endangering Amy, Von, Charley and Larimer residents, along with polluting the environment which must bring a Cease-and-Desist order (section 11.5.5)! The violations of law are clear and convincing per Larimer County’s O&G regulations and CO law. I implore you to use the enforcement mechanisms I referenced to shut
the Prospect Energy’s Krause facility down! Activate that fair and swift enforcement please! The Krause facility is harming our great community and needs to be shut down! Thank you.