Breathe Free, Weld County–Also Put On A Damn Mask

The flag of North Colorado, which is not going to happen.

A press release today from a coalition of local environmental organizations celebrates the failure of a legal challenge by always cantankerous Weld County, against new air quality rules adopted in the wake of 2019’s landmark Senate Bill 19-181 reform of oil and gas drilling to favor public health over drill baby drill:

Denver District Court Chief Judge Michael A. Martinez granted a motion by the state of Colorado to dismiss Weld County’s lawsuit against the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The county had sought to overturn new air quality rules for oil and gas development adopted by the AQCC in Dec. 2019. They were the first air quality rules adopted under Senate Bill 181, which mandates reductions in ozone-forming pollutants and methane emissions from oil and gas development.

The seven conservation and community groups include Western Colorado Alliance (WCA), League of Oil & Gas Impacted Communities (LOGIC), Conservation Colorado, Earthworks, the Sierra Club, Citizens for a Healthy Community and the San Juan Citizens Alliance. They had intervened in the case in support of the state and in defense of the rules they helped pass in December.

The court’s decision allows the new air quality protections to take effect statewide, including one proposed by three local community organizations (LOGIC, WCA and the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance) and adopted unanimously by the AQCC that requires energy companies to inspect wells, tanks and other infrastructure for leaks more frequently within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, parks and other occupied areas.

Judge Martinez’s decision is a win for people who live near wells and other oil and gas infrastructure. Coloradans statewide will benefit from reduced ozone emissions. And the state will also remain a leader in lowering methane emissions, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

As readers know, from oil and gas drilling to gun laws to COVID, Weld County is fast becoming the state of Colorado’s nexus of “resistance” to all the realities of the present day conservatives spend so much of their time these days…you know, “resisting.” The northeast region of the state including Weld County actually made an effort via a number of countywide ballot measures back in 2013 to form a new state with a capitol presumably located in Greeley as “North Colorado’s” largest city–which ended in humiliation after a majority of Weld County voters could not be persuaded to join the revolution.

While Weld County’s refusal to enforce Colorado’s gun laws and face mask order puts everyone present within county lines in danger, there’s a simple enough solution to those risks: stay away from Weld County. When it comes to air pollution, however, anyone in Denver who has “smelled Greeley” when a cold front blows in from the north knows that air pollution in Weld County affects all of us. So in that sense, we’ll all breathe easier if Weld County is obliged to follow the same rules as everybody else.

And if the State Patrol writes some tickets against face mask scofflaws in Weld County, that’s okay too.


11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    Could the doctor lady who was going on about demon seed or alien DNA have been referring to Weld county?

    • Genghis says:

      Make fun of Dr. Stella Immanuel if you must, but how many other healers have figured out that the etiology of ovarian cysts and endometriosis is demons astral projecting into ladies' minds and sexing them up in their dreams? Huh? How many? Thought so!

      Dr. Immanuel clearly has a future as the Chief Medical Officer of the future state of North Colorado.

      And finally, that flag never gets old.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        Last week's Wray Gazette has a guest editorial by Sonnenberg railing on Burger King, cow farts, and the Impossible Burger (which is made from ingredients grown by farmers).  Below it was a picture of our local school board at the recent outdoor graduation event – with only half of them wearing masks.  On the next page an article about the local theater re-opening and asking that we don't make fun of people who decline to wear masks to the movies.  


        We've gone from the Laffer Curve to PizzaGate to cow farts (actually it's the belching of the cows but why ruin a good story) to Demon sperm.  

        The transition of the Ttump cult is complete.  

  2. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    fGawd, remember when we had Democrats like Guy Poe and
    Forrest Burns and  Republicans like Bev Bledsoe 

    from Eastern Colorado.   I think I’ll start telling people I was born in Nebraska, which I was, and forget to mention that we moved back to the farm when I was a year old/

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      Careful, Voyageur … Nebraska has had some "interesting" politicians, too. Check out Sen. Mike Groene, from down near North Platte …

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        Nebraska produced George Norris, thought by many to be the greatest senator ever, and William Jennings Bryan.  Colorado produced Douglas Bruce and Ernest Medina, who led the my lai massacre (he was from Montrose)

        On the other hand, Colorado did produce Glenn Miller and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.


        • spaceman65 says:

          Might want to fact check.  Bryan was from Illinois, didn't move to Nebraska until his 20s.  Bruce is a CA transplant.  Norris though, deserves the accolades.  If only we had Republican senators like him these days.  Sigh.  


        • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

          Norris was an outstanding Senator … Part of the Roosevelt wing of the party, working against monopolies and for public supervision of railroads and public development of electrical systems. Eventually, a Republican who was admired by FDR for his domestic progressive positions, who became an Independent for his last term.

          My recollection is he was a Midwestern isolationist — helping to scuttle the League of Nations and opposing some of the run-up preparations to WWII.

          Doing a bit of reading to confirm my memory … found out he was from Ohio, born and educated there.  Drifted west to Indiana for a law degree, then further west to Nebraska.

          • VoyageurVoyageur says:

            Norris was an isolationist in World War I, as indeed he should have been.  By 1937, however, Japanese atrocities against China made him more amenable to helping the allies.

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