Friday, September 23, 2011

Junk Propaganda Reporting at its Best? - Greeley Tribune: Oil and Gas "We don't Have a lot of Problems"

Oil and gas is a fixture in life, government of Weld County

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
These days, oil and gas isn’t just an industry in Weld County — it’s a way of life.

“People are used to it,” said Weld planning director Trevor Jiricek.
So is the Weld County Planning Commission. Because it has been inundated with applications to extract, store and process oil and natural gas, the commission hosted a special meeting Tuesday to focus on five requests submitted by the mammoth natural gas collector, DCP Midstream.
Jiricek said about 50 percent of the requests submitted to the planning department have to do with oil and gas.

“It makes you wonder what percent beyond that 50 is not directly related to oil and gas, but some kind of support,” Jiricek said. He said up to 75 percent of the activity surrounding land use cases could have their roots in the oil and gas industry.
Last year, the commission issued 841 building permits for oil and gas, which is three times that of 2005. And this year is on track to surpass 2010, according to a work output report from Weld’s Department of Planning Services, with 115 oil and gas building permits issued in August alone.
To compare, 50 residential building permits were issued in 2010, about one-fifth of what was issued in 2005.

As governments in Weld County well know, those permits have translated to an abounding flow of severance and property tax revenue from oil and gas companies.
In fiscal 2011, Weld received $1.72 million in severance tax revenue, in addition to $846,000 in mineral leases, according to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Weld County assessor Chris Woodruff said the overall oil and gas class in the county is valued at $2.4 billion, translating to a taxable value of $5.2 billion.

In other words, Woodruff said, for every dollar of property taxes paid, about 47 cents comes from the oil and gas industry.Every case the commission heard Tuesday would build up the infrastructure needed for a pipeline in the Niobrara Formation that would transfer natural gas.DCP, which specializes in the transportation of gas, hopes to see the 57 miles of pipeline completed by mid-2013, said Greg Kardos, the company’s asset manager for Weld County.
“The D-J Basin is reinventing itself in anticipation of Niobrara,” Kardos told the commission.

The four gas compressors and electric gas processing facility DCP is requesting would add to the 150 jobs the company already has based in Weld County, he said. Jason Maxey, a member of the planning commission, said his only concern was whether the additions would take away irrigated farm land.

However, no concerns were voiced in the hearing portion of the meeting.

Jiricek said opposition to oil and gas activities is not usually the norm because the adverse effects are often successfully mitigated and because residents of Weld County see the industry as a part of everyday life.
“It’s been a gradual building of the industry,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of problems.”


Ever consider that an industry has flown in by night and has not provided the public with appropriate health information regarding the potential hazards of fracking?  Do the people of Weld County even know what fracking is?  Do they know the EPA's death ratio standards for cancer acceptance levels for VOC emissions?  We are starting to think that the County doesn't either.

According to the COGCC's website, to date, Weld County has had:
  • More than 1,000 Field Inspections
  • More than 1,000 Notice of Alleged Violations
  • More than 1,000 Public Complaints
  • More than 1,000 Spill/Incident reports where 433 Spills CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER and 30 spills CONTAMINATED SURFACE WATER
  • More than 1,000 Remediation Forms filed 
  • only 229 Mechanical Integrity Tests
Do the people of Weld County know about all of these problems ththe State Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has filed? Our guess is that they do not.  We will replay what we wrote just the other day about the death/benefit the EPA supports.


EPA’s risk review estimates that the cancer risk from air toxic emissions from natural gas transmission and storage is approximately 90 in 1 million.

While EPA considers a risk level of 90 in 1 million to be acceptable, the agency is proposing changes to this standard that would lower the risk level to 20 in 1 million. What a nice way to dilute the issue...

Dividing 90 deaths into one million equals one death per 11,111 people in a population.

Therefore, the risk FOR CANCER ONLY, is guaranteed to be 1 in 11,111. The EPA says that is acceptable. Now are they also considering the well density of an area parallel with its population?

Consider an area like Weld County, Colorado which has an estimated 18 - 20,000 active oil and gas wells and a population of 268,000 citizens, which equates to 15 active oil and gas wells per citizen! That's a staggering proposition. In order to estimate the death ratio per a set population, we'd have to understand the estimated amount of toxic chemicals emitted per well on average and use the EPA's formula.

What if the death ratio was 1 in 5,000? That would equate to roughly 54 people dead from cancer caused from toxic emissions in the air. Would this be an annual event? Does anyone think an industry should be unregulated under the Clean Air Act?

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