The state of Colorado has sued the city of Longmont for passing ordinances setting reasonable standards for oil and gas production in a residential community.
Eighty-seven public officials from twenty-seven city and county governments in Colorado have rallied in support of the City of Longmont as it attempts to protect its citizens from the negative health, environmental, and financial impacts associated with oil and gas development. Their letter,1 sent to Governor Hickenlooper states, "we are surprised and disappointed by your administration's decision to sue the City of Longmont for adopting rules to protect its residents from the risks and potential adverse impacts of oil and gas drilling within its geographic jurisdiction."
Yet, Governor Hickenlooper remains determined to support the oil and gas industry and sue any municipality that increases its own safety regulations that would protect its citizens by preventing adverse impacts from the unregulated, toxic oil and gas industry.
Please support Colorado's public officials in maintaining the right to protect citizens and the environment.
The Sierra Club has recently shown in numerous studies2 the State often fails to prevent adverse impacts caused by toxic industrial waste spills, ground water contaminations, aquifer contamination, private well-water contaminations, and willful close placement of active oil and gas wells to homes, hospitals, schools and other areas of special concern3. It is time to acknowledge the failures in state regulations and enforcement practices and to allow local governments to use their regulations and enforcement capacity to make sure this industry is a good neighbor, in good faith, while the state slowly continues to strengthen its laws.
Please respond to this Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter alert and tell Governor Hickenlooper to drop the lawsuit and recognize that local governments have both the right and responsibility to take action to protect the public health and well being of citizens and the environment.
I experienced first-hand the adverse health impacts of over 19,000 active oil and gas wells in my county, Weld, with 75 active wells surrounding my home in Firestone. Many people reached out to me reporting excessive dust, traffic, noise, breathing problems, burning eyes, headaches, and nosebleeds, and wanted to know where to turn for answers.
50,000 new active wells are planned for Colorado over the next 20 years.
Please take immediate action to protect other Colorado citizens from the same hardship we continue to experience. We cannot, and should not have to live like this.
Thanks for all you do for the environment,
Shane Davis, Sierra Club
Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter
Oil and Gas Campaign Information & Research Manager