Task Force on Oil and Gas Regs Leave Unanswered Questions for Some

Last week the task force appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to examine oil and gas regulation in Colorado issued its final report. The draft document comes as state leaders and the energy industry have been debating what role local governments should have in regulating the industry.

In issuing its conclusions, the report did not break any new ground. Instead, it focused on the need for improving collaboration and coordination between the state, industry and communities, as energy development expands, particularly near urban and residential areas.

While members of the task force discussed jurisdictional issues regarding substantive regulations, they determined that drawing bright lines between state and local jurisdictional authority was neither realistic nor productive. The authority to regulate what happens at or under well sites, including hydraulic fracturing operations, will remain the domain of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).

This is the right tone, according to Mike King, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, under which the COGCC functions.

The Task Force does not make recommendations for new laws, but instead recommends a collaborative process through which issues can be resolved
without litigation or new legislation, King wrote
in a letter to the governor.

One of the COGCC initiatives that task force members welcomed is the local government designee (LGD). While they wont have any enforcement responsibility, the local designees can bring issues of concern directly to the COGCC.

The LGD is the person who takes the requests, concerns and comments of local citizens to the attention of the COGCC. They answer to their local government board or commission, so the position is not merely a figurehead, says King. The LGD is the key to a robust process for us.

The task force wants to see the local government designees receive training and oversight from the COGCC. The hope is that by bringing the latest information to local governments regarding drilling practices, the designees will then have the ability to identify issues and bring resolve and accountability.

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Faith Winter, Program Director of the Colorado Conservation and an organization that had a seat on the task force, said Enhancing the local government designee process is really going to increase accountability, which will ultimately help protect public health and the environment.

Editors Note: With the final task force report now a matter of public record, Colorado Energy News thought it would be a good time to check in with Mike King of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources on how his organization is balancing energy development with community concerns. You can read the full post in the premiere edition of Niobrara Report, the new digital magazine that tracks energy news and policy developments in the region.

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Next Star Wars Movie to be Filmed Near Pueblo, Colorado

TOPICS:Star Wars Pueblo Colorado

photo by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 3.0 / cropped & photo by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 3.0 / cropped

PUEBLO, Colorado Numerous news outlets are reporting that a portion of the next Star Wars movie will be filmed just outside of Pueblo, Colorado. The location in Colorado will represent a previously unknown planet in the Star Wars universe.

Writer and director Rian Johnson is said to have personally chosen the location and will need the help of a large number of extras from Pueblo and the surrounding area. Reports claim that a big reason in choosing to film in Colorado is that the state has recently been providing significant incentives to production companies that choose to film in their state.

No other details have been provided so far except that filming is set to begin sometime next year.…

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Justin Bieber explains why Orland Park, Illinois has the most beautiful women

TOPICS:Justin Bieber Beautiful Women Orland Park Illinois

Photo by Joe Bielawa / CC BY-SA 2.0 / cropped

In a radio interview over the weekend Hollywood actor, Justin Bieber claimed that Orland Park, Illinois has the most beautiful women in the world. Why Orland Park?

As Justin explained it:

I knew a girl from Orland Park, Illinois and I visited her and her family in Orland Park a few years ago and I thought at the time that maybe she was just an exception but she wasnt. And Im not saying that the women there are necessarily more physically beautiful than other women in other places but, from my experience in Orland Park, the women there have the entire package, ya know? Theyre not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well. The girl I knew from Orland Park was sweet, caring, and beautiful all-around and I found that to be the case for a lot of women there.

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