Category: Government

Broomfield Takes First Step To Enact Six-Month Oil & Gas Moratorium

Broomfield City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the first reading of a six-month oil and gas moratorium aimed at allowing the city time to update local ordinances in light of the newly passed state law that gives municipalities more control.

The moratorium will halt until Nov. 14 the processing or approval of applications for use by special review or operator agreements to allow oil and gas operations in Broomfield.

Ward 1 Councilwoman Elizabeth Law-Evans was one of several members in favor of the time frame, despite multiple residents and at least one council member pushing for a 10-month moratorium. She agreed with Ward 4 Councilman Kevin Kreeger’s comments that if Broomfield needed more time, council could vote to extend the moratorium.

“The point is to allow us to make good, solid decisions,” Law-Evans said. “I don’t feel the point of this is to penalize the industry. This has nothing to do with ‘not being open for business’ or penalizing the industry. It’s more about us taking the time to consider how the state laws changed and how we need to deal with it as a community.”

Members of council brought up the idea of a moratorium at previous meetings as a way to give city officials time to react to the passage of Senate Bill 181, which changes the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and authorizes local governments to exercise additional regulatory authority over oil and gas operations without being preempted by state law. Gov. Jared Polis signed the bill into law on April 16.

Chris McGowne, who identified himself as the associate director with the Colorado Petroleum Council, said the organization has taken a “pragmatic and proactive problem-solving approach” in Broomfield and hopes to continue, but finds itself at a crossroads.

When conversations were underway, proponents of the bill assured oil and gas industry industry members it would not impede development, that they would be welcome and that it wouldn’t result in bans at the local level, McGowne said.

This moratorium “sends a message that we are not welcome,” he said.

Broomfield, Erie and unincorporated Adams County residents attended the meeting to comment on the moratorium, some grateful for the six-month timeline and others wanting 10 months.

Christopher Cleary, who is running for the Ward 3 Broomfield City Council seat in November, was one resident who believed the moratorium should go beyond six  months since there could be up to five new faces on council and a new mayor when the moratorium expires. Mayor Randy Ahrens is term limited.

“(Senate Bill) 181 is going to give you a whole new set of tools to be able to act on,” he said, adding that time is needed for the “new blood” on council to influence new regulations.

Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. in October 2017 signed an operator agreement with Broomfield to drill up to 84 new wells on six sites, which is not impacted by the new state law. Crews are currently drilling on the Interchange B Pad south of the Northwest Parkway and between Interstate 25 and Huron Street.

“They have to complete eight wells there first before they can move onto Livingston Pad,” Broomfield Director of Strategic Initiatives Tami  Yellico said.

Extraction has to give Broomfield notice before that happens, she said.

The Denver-based oil and gas company has drilled five wells and is expected to move onto the sixth well this week.

Broomfield amended its oil and gas land use regulations in July and again in March, when the city increased setbacks of residential and “sensitive use developments” to oil and gas well sites.

“In order to develop new regulations to implement SB19-181 in a thoughtful manner that provides more clarity and certainty to oil and gas operators about Broomfield’s requirements without trying to simultaneously review and process applications to develop oil and gas wells, facilities and projects, a temporary moratorium on processing such applications is necessary,” the city stated in a memo for Tuesday’s meeting.

The new law grants local governments more authority to regulate surface operations and nuisance impacts of oil and gas operations without being preempted by state law, according to the memo.

At an April 9 meeting, council members asked staff to review and begin drafting amendments to the Broomfield oil and gas ordinance to implement the broader authority granted by the law.

“A six-month moratorium would provide the time to develop appropriate amendments that provide clarity and certainty to operators as to Broomfield’s requirements to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Broomfield’s residents in their workplaces, their homes, their schools, and public parks in order to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare and to safeguard the environment and wildlife resources,” the memo states.

Other communities in the area also are enacting moratoriums.

In late March, Adams County commissioners passed a moratorium, which can extend up to six months, to new applications for oil and gas drilling permits. Last month Lafayette extended a moratorium that the council initially approved in November 2017.

A second reading on the moratorium will take place at 6 p.m. May 28.

Article by Jennifer Rios
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What is Progressive?

What does it mean to be progressive? That seems to be coming up a lot lately, and for good reason. Anyone who is old enough to remember what the democratic party was doing in the 1960s and 1970s knows what it means to be progressive. This is not a new way of being, this is a return to our roots of recent history. 

Progressives gave us civil rights, voting rights, the creation of medicare, and put a man on the moon. Progressives looked at the world and enacted legislation to make life better. 

Progressives have intellectual curiosity. They are keenly aware of history, technology, and they measure those aspects against what could be done. Seeking creative solutions that offer the possibility of making life better for as many as possible. Solutions that promote sustainability. Solutions that make the world a better place than when they found it. Solutions that considers future generations and offers a better future. Progressives do not need to experience a particular hardship, to be able to empathize with the hardship of another.

Some people fear the word progressive. Or rather, they fear the meaning they have attached to the concept of what it means to be progressive. But when you actually start talking to people who express those fears, you learn how progressive we all really are. We really do want to see science and medicine advance. We do want to have enough food on our table. We do want to see our children and grandchildren thrive. We want a place worth living in, with a future that has potential. We do want to be able to breath the air while watching a sunset. All of those wants are within a progressive philosophy. 

Being a progressive involves intellectual honesty. Looking at what works, what doesn’t work, and having the courage to acknowledge what isn’t working. In acknowledging what isn’t working, you now have the freedom to address it. Researching, asking questions, finding data, speaking with experts, then making the best possible choice — using data to inform your opinion. 

We are now in the 21st century. According to the global scientists, we have 11 years to change how we have been doing things. Broomfield has the chance to show the rest of the Front Range what can be accomplished. We have enough options, enough off-the-shelf technology, and enough of an annual budget, to move the city forward. If we keep doing things as they’ve been done, with some of this ways anchored in the 1880s, we will not make it.

Mediocrity will not win the day. Hanging on to choices from the 1880s will not win the day. Having the courage and intellectual curiosity, to utilize and implement the best choices in technology and information, that’s what is means to be progressive.

Christopher Cleary is a Broomfield resident and candidate for city council in Ward 3.

Click here for original article.

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Swearing In Ceremony

As a photographer, a constituent, a Coloradan, and a future Council Member, I was able to connect with the leadership in Larimer County, and photograph their Swearing In Ceremony. 

In the coming years, it will become more and more important to reach out to the leadership in other municipalities along the Front Range. I’ve already started to connect to both the local and the state levels of leadership. 

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Cleary Launches Social Media

In preparation for the upcoming City Council election, after announcing his run and filing with the city, Christopher Cleary launched his social media accounts.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cleary4Broomfield

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Cleary4B

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/Cleary4Broomfield/

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2019 Election Begins

Christopher Cleary, the first potential candidate to run for Broomfield City Council in 2019, has submitted a candidate affidavit and committee registration.

Christopher Cleary filed Wednesday with the Broomfield Clerk and Recorder. He intends to run for the Ward 3 seat which will be up for election in November. 

Council members serve for a four-year term. Each of Broomfield’s five wards is represented by two council members. Elections are staggered so that a senior member from each ward sits on council. The mayor, and a single seat in each ward, will be voted on in November.

Broomfield’s election will be held on November 5, 2019.

Click here for original article

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Efforts Squandered On Vintage Practices

I am tired of city council members that thoughtlessly squander months of people’s time, energy, and resources, only to string along their constituents, teasing a vote that the council never had any intention of making. The same council members, time and again, string constituents along, not in favor of their constituents, but in favor of industry. 

The American oil boom started in 1859. We do not currently rely on the tools, technology, and wisdom of what was available in 1859. That would be ridiculous. So why are we emotionally attached to an industry that began before the Civil War, before women could vote, and when slavery was legal? 

Technology and scientific development, since 1859 have given us choices we never thought possible. We now have enough consumer-based technology that with a World War II style national effort, we could convert the entire nation to renewables in one year. One Year. 

In 2016, solar and wind became cheaper than traditional fossil fuels, according, to a new report from the World Economic Forum. The ridiculous, ongoing, false equivalence argument, of we can either have power or nothing, is now the mantra of the ignorant. That feeble argument has no place within the 21st century technological advancements. 

Why remain beholden to an industry, that by all rights, were it not propped up with subsidies and Wall Street, would have gracefully ended with the turn of the last century.

All of this time, energy, money, and resources should not be squandered supporting a sector that will be gone within our children’s lifetime. We need to focus on what will preserve, protect, and propel us firmly into the 21st century, and in a way that does not ruthlessly and permanently destroy our land, air, water, and health. 

Christopher Cleary
Broomfield Resident

Click here for original article

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We Know Better, Let’s Do Better

Often, when the city council has study sessions, they will kick out the very people who are specialists in the field of what the ‘study session’ is supposed to examine. I was at the session regarding bees. The council did not meet with the entomologists, and the kicked out the local bee keeper, when it came time to discuss factual research. 

That same logic has been applied to fracking, regarding the dismissal of scientists and peer reviewed data. Greg Stokes, when presented with peer reviewed data by a research scientist, being visually disgusted by the research opposing his personal feelings, called the research “junk science” and summarily dismissed the scientist. Let that sink in for a moment. 

When presented with a specialist in the field of study that the council session is examining, council dismissed the specialist. They dismissed the very specialists that could answer every question, Especially when the information the specialist had, could have informed the decision making process of the council. 

This has been an ongoing issue with the council. Especially when the data is in direct opposition to the council’s ‘belief’ or ‘feelings’ regarding the matter. 

Councilman Greg Stokes is great at bullying, but not when it comes time to standing for anything meaningful. We see it in meetings, his responses on social media, and even in his email responses. I sent Stokes a picture of a fracking well that blew up, (do a quick internet search for “fracking explosion”). One tank was 150 feet in the air.

He spent the next four emails fighting about the press calling it a fracking explosion. He expressed no concern for the people, or the dangers of fracking wells, but argued about the semantics. Council emails are catalogued. My email was sent April 19, 2015, feel free to look it up. It also has pictures of the explosion.

Eight years ago, fracking marketing people came in and people did not have enough knowledge to dispute the marketing lies. 

Now, Broomfield residents are armed with knowledge, data, facts, and studies (31 peer reviewed studies deciphred.org/studies/) Now we know the extent of damage fracking causes to the land, air, water, and people. 

Now, there are peer reviewed studies from NASA, NOAH, USGS. The list of damages from earthquakes to stillborn babies. We inevitably need to move to renewables. It’s no longer a question. It needs to happen in our lifetime. 

Where would the state be, if all the time, energy, and money, spent on preventing the inevitable move to renewables, had been channelled into creating renewables in the state? Colorado could be leading the nation in renewables and true energy independence. 

Maya Angelou used to say “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” 

We now know better. The council knows better. Now it’s time to do better. 

Christopher Cleary is a Broomfield resident

Click here for original article

Other Posts:
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2019 Election Begins