The Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety & the Environment is a coalition of Northern Colorado citizens and groups committed to protecting Larimer County from harm by oil and gas development. We aim to educate the public about this issue and ensure that local and state governments develop and implement policies that prioritize the protection of public health and safety, environmental quality, wildlife resources, and the integrity of public lands, in accordance with Colorado law.
Since our founding in 2019, the Alliance has been focused on oil and gas issues in Larimer County and greater Northern Colorado. Particular attention was given to new regulations enacted at the County level under the mandate of Senate Bill 19-181, a state reform which called for more protection of health, safety, and the environment by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), and allows more local control.
The current Board of County Commissioners enacted local regulations that were not in the spirit of SB-181. Both before and after the passage of those local rules, the Alliance provided input at the State level as new regulations on oil and gas were being drafted by the COGCC and the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC). This frequently includes consultation and collaboration with Larimer County’s representatives in the State Legislature.
Our experience throughout this process has led us to endorse State Senator Joann Ginal in Senate District 14, Representative Jeni Arndt in House District 53, and Cathy Kipp in House District 52 for re-election in 2020.
With a 20- year career in bio-sciences specializing in reproductive endocrinology prior to her entering the Colorado legislature, Senator Ginal has long been concerned about the effects of oil and gas development on public health and the environment, and co-sponsored SB-181. She ran bills on the epidemiological effects of oil and gas development on nearby communities, as well as on the potential earthquake hazards presented by fracking.
Representative Kipp serves on the House Energy and Environment Committee, closely tracking the new regulatory processes of both the COGCC and the AQCC. Representative Arndt serves on many committees. Her knowledge of water law is the reason why she has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Western Council of State Governments’ Agriculture and Water Committee. She is keenly aware of issues centered on the vast amount of water utilized in fracking processes.
Representatives Arndt and Kipp were both co-sponsors of SB-181 in the House. As new regulations were being formulated this year by the COGCC, all three of our Larimer County legislators signed a letter to support greater setbacks of oil and gas projects from homes, schools, and other sensitive locations.
We feel these public servants are paying quite appropriate attention to environmental issues in general and oil and gas regulatory issues in particular. It is our hope that they can continue their advocacy on behalf of Larimer County on these and other issues as they are re-elected to their seats in 2020. As ever, the Larimer Alliance stands ready to assist in educating and informing our representatives and the community at large as these issues march forward.