“‘This is a wake-up call’: Drilling opponents putting full-court press on Jared Polis to halt new wells in Colorado” – The Denver Post

“’This is a wake-up call’: Drilling opponents putting full-court press on Jared Polis to halt new wells in Colorado:

With Democrats in firm control of state government, activists hope for regulatory results in 2019″

By John Aguilar, The Denver Post 1/3/19

The following are excerpts from the Jan. 3 front page Denver Post article focusing on the Jan. 3 and Jan. 4 rallies and a letter to Gov.-Elect Polis, along with quotes from newly announced Colorado Rising Director Joe Salazar and Broomfield resident Neil Allaire.

“Anti-drilling forces who were dealt a blow at the ballot box in November are regrouping in earnest this week, hiring a well-connected player in Colorado political circles to lead the effort against an industry that is aggressively trying to tap more of the state’s reserves of fossil fuels.”

“A slew of community groups from across the state, but mostly from the Front Range, will send Polis a letter Thursday asking him ‘to put on hold all pending and new permit applications along with approvals of all related infrastructure’ for the next nine months.'”

“In a parallel move, the organization behind the unsuccessful effort last fall to increase setbacks for new oil and gas operations will send its own request to Polis on Friday asking that he slap an indefinite moratorium on new drilling in Colorado while a comprehensive study is conducted to gauge the health impacts of drilling and fracking.”

“As a sign of just how heated the battle over energy extraction likely will become in 2019, Colorado Rising on Wednesday named outgoing state Rep. Joe Salazar, a Thornton Democrat, as its new executive director.”

“Salazar will speak at an anti-oil and gas rally at Civic Center park in Denver at noon Thursday before his own group holds a demonstration against the industry at the state Capitol on Friday morning.”

“Neil Allaire, a Broomfield resident who belongs to Front Range Residents for Environment, Safety and Health, said he looks at Polis as an ally and more amenable to tighter regulations on oil and gas than outgoing Gov. John Hickenlooper.”

“But he said putting pressure on the new governor won’t be the only tactic he and his allies employ in taking on the energy sector in the coming year. They also will work on persuading lawmakers in the Colorado General Assembly, which convenes for its new session Friday, to pass bills addressing the topic.”

“And they will eagerly await a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court in the so-called Martinez case, in which environmental activists are trying to force the COGCC to prioritize health and the environment when it comes to issuing permits to oil and gas companies.”

“’Everyone knows the oil and gas regulations in Colorado are not the best,’ Allaire said.”

Please read the rest of the article here: