Gasfield justice

Gasfield justice: Organizing people to have a fair say on drilling


Western Colorado has lived with oil and gas development for decades, but new technology lets it happen closer to people and neighborhoods. All across the state, people are feeling the impacts of this industry. Residents may be directly impacted by air pollution, noise and water contamination; the wider community is apt to experience increased traffic, strained infrastructure and social services, and economic upheaval.

WCC’s Gasfield Justice program helps people in the Piceance Basin of western Colorado join together to have a fair say in where and how drilling will occur. Our position is not that oil and gas development should be banned, but rather that it shouldn’t be done everywhere, and it must be done right. WCC is working for:

  • At least 1,000-foot setbacks from homes and 1,500-foot setbacks from schools
  • Legal standing for neighbors and longer public comment periods
  • High performance standards if drilling is allowed near people
  • Protection of local government power to regulate industry
  • More inspection of wells near people, populated areas or waterways
  • Higher penalties for rule-breakers, especially repeat offenders
  • Financial assurance that covers damage to nearby properties
  • Investment in air quality monitoring near oil and gas facilities
  • Comprehensive study of public health impacts

Our Campaigns

Battlement Mesa: In the fall of 2016, residents of this community reached a mile marker in their ongoing campaign to keep out large-scale oil and gas development. After years of public hearings, comment periods, rallies and more, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in September gave the green light to Ursa Natural Resources to drill 53 natural gas wells on two pads.  Read more…

Mesa County Proposals: WCC members won a reprieve on Fram’s proposal to drill 108 wells on nearly 26,000 acres along the western flanks of the Grand Mesa. A large portion of this area lies in or near the watershed that supplies drinking and irrigation water to Grand Junction, the Western Slope’s biggest city. Read more…

North Fork Valley: WCC plans to advocate for a Citizens’ Alternative in the BLM’s draft Resource Management Plan for the region, which would protect water supplies and a thriving agricultural economy. Read more…

Colorado Oil and Gas Policy: WCC was active in the 2016 Colorado legislative session, supporting bills to affirm local control over oil and gas development, to amend the mission statement of the COGCC to be more fair and balanced, and to hold the industry liable for damage to property owners. These issues will be prominent once again in our work in 2017. Read more…

Contact WCC Organizer Emily Hornback at (970) 256-7650 or emily(at) for more information or to get involved.