Oil, gas rules draw strong reaction from Garfield County groups

Oct 8, 2015

Don Simpson, Vice President of Business Development for Ursa, talks explains a drilling proposal by Ursa Resources for Battlement Mesa.
Credit Elise Thatcher

  Two Garfield County groups are calling on Governor John Hickenlooper, after reviewing draft oil and gas rules. The proposed regulations are supposed to address major concerns, like how much drilling to allow near homes and schools.

If approved, draft rules released this week require some restrictions only for larger operations. Leslie Robinson is Chair of the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, and also represents Battlement Concerned Citizens. They had pushed for restrictions to kick in with any drilling near where people live. “We would like to talk to Governor Hickenlooper,” she said Thursday, “he’s had a lot of influence on this process. We don’t think he’s been concerned with citizen input.”

The draft rules come as Battlement Mesa grapples with a major drilling proposal within neighborhood boundaries. The regulations are part of a grand compromise started by Hickenlooper last year, to avoid splitting the Democratic vote in the election last fall.