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April 29, 2013 04:07 PM UTC

Gov. Hickenlooper aiding and abetting billion dollar oil and gas industry to cheat rules that protect public health and water

  • by: checks-and-balances

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Over the past few weeks alone Gov. Hickenlooper has done the bidding of the billion dollar oil and gas industry, to the detriment of Coloradan’s health and water, enough times to make one wonder: just who does he believe he was elected to serve?

Late last week, Gov. Hickenlooper sent his lobbyist to the Capitol to weaken fines for oil and gas spills.

Colorado has the lowest fines in the nation for spills, despite a well-documented problem of spills and water contamination. You don’t have to look much further than the recent Parachute spill for evidence, now on day 53, which has contaminated nearby water and soil with cancer causing benzene and is being investigated by the EPA’s criminal investigations division. Right now, the most that these billion dollar oil and gas companies can fined for breaking the law when they spill is $10,000 – hardly a slap on the wrist and definitely not an incentive to follow the law.

Earlier this year, Hickenlooper’s oil and gas commission created the Anadarko-Noble loophole, which makes it easier for billion dollar oil and gas companies to pollute water in an area along the Front Range that’s home to more than 25 percent of  Colorado’s oil and gas wells and more than half of the most recent spills reported. All eyes are now on the Colorado State Legislature to see if legislation sponsored by Rep. Hullinghorst to overturn the Anadarko-Noble loophole will pass, and avoid a Hickenlooper veto. 

Last week, a Hickenlooper agency turned down money to increase the number of inspectors – from 16 to 24 – for the state’s more than 52,000 wells. Really?

On April 11th, Hickenlooper’s Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Dr. Urbina, actually testified against a study that would help answer the question of whether or not Coloradans living close to fracking are getting sicker than Coloradans who don’t live near fracking. Dr. Urbina’s stated logic seemed to be that since CDPHE would come out with a study in five years, why bother with research that would be complete in eight months. It seems like the families who live near fracking could come up with more than a few reasons why the study should be done now.

Gov. Hickenlooper has just a few short weeks left in the state legislative session to change course and start doing what’s best for Colorado families and communities, instead of the bidding of the oil and gas industry. Let’s hope that he changes course soon.



7 thoughts on “Gov. Hickenlooper aiding and abetting billion dollar oil and gas industry to cheat rules that protect public health and water

  1.  enough times to make one wonder just who does he believe he was elected to serve.

    Some of us haven't wondered that in a long time.


    Let’s hope that he changes course soon.

    Taking bets…right here…cheeky



      1. No- he knows he needs D's and U's and more than a few R's.  What he doesn't need are G's and ACP's.


        What we should do, see, is get a really left leaning candidate to take him on.  Ken Gordon or Bernie Buscher or someone more like Bernie Sanders.  Then, if Hick doens't just change and run R, he'll have to win as an indie.  How does the timing on that work again?


        Colorado voters are…what they are.

        Sure- we all hate Hick now- but in the moment our choices were him, Don Maes and Tom Tancredo.  We made the best choice.

  2. Hick knows this is his last elected position. He's going to make sure he has a nice cushy landing when he leaves office. He's not about to abandon his buddies future employers now. Have to admit, though, his brazen disregard for Colorado's citizens is astonishing.

    Goot summary, checks-and-balances.

  3. Wouldn't it be enlightening if we could "follow the money" in a complete and transparent way. . . .

    Urbina is a scary dude – I've seen him in action regarding a different public health/environmental issue.  You'd think he was appointed by Governor Bill Owens. 

    Wish the Dems would wake up and see what's being done in state government in their name. 


    1. I've seen Dr. Urbina in action too, and I agree that he is one scary dude. To think that he is on both the COGCC board and head of CDPHE because he is an "expert" in public health. It is especially troubling to me that he is now in charge of the clean-up of Parachute Creek. I hope it gets cleaned up better than Rocky Flats did, but I'm not optimistic. Standards, schmandards.


      1. Parachute Creek is going to have to change color* or burn* for anything meaningful to change. And Urbina does not care.  Freinds don't let friends live down wind or down stream of Rocky Flats (and the Arsenal. and a hundred other poisonous Colorado locales.) (Odd but true- the uranium hazard buried under significant parts of east Denver is almost all removed and remediated.)



        *American River northern California was neon green. You could look it up. The Cuyahoga river has burned more than once- the last fire helped create the EPA. The pictures are utterly bizarre.

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