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 has worked for decades to improve the state rules and laws that govern oil and gas development, and will continue to do so. From engaging in Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rule-makings to working with our elected officials at the legislature, we use every tool in the tool box to protect human and environmental health in the shadow of oil and gas development across the state.
The struggle in Battlement Mesa is representative of the struggle many Colorado communities face when dealing with the oil and gas industry. Residents deserve to have a voice in decisions that threaten the human and environmental health of their communities. Battlement Concerned Citizens is a committee of WCC's local affiliate, Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, that is giving residents that voice.
WCC has succeeded in scaling back the proposal from its original 492 wells on 90,000 acres to just 108 wells, and the BLM is still working through its Environmental Assessment process for the project.
Meanwhile, we’ll continue to support our North Fork allies in their response to a proposed lease swap that would transfer the threat of drilling from the Thompson Divide to the upper North Fork watershed. Members of our Public Lands Committee are working to protect the proposed receiving area, which includes the biologically rich Hubbard Park and Stevens Gulch.
What We're Fighting 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
- Comprehensive study of public health impacts