February 21, 2018

Colorado ‘promotes’ natural-gas catastrophe that now threatens Colorado River

Joel Dyer of the Boulder Weekly reports how a slowly unfolding benzene-contamination disaster for a local creek and, ultimately, the Colorado River, was created by the conflict of interest in the state regulatory agency’s role as both purported regulator and promoter. “This is, of course, just the latest example of why it is insane to have one government agency, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), charged with acting as both the oil and gas industry’s primary promoter as well as its supposed chief regulator.”

Colorado ‘promotes’ natural-gas catastrophe that now threatens Colorado River

By Joel Dyer

Parachute Creek is now officially contaminated with cancer-causing benzene and heaven knows what else. A carcinogenic stew is now making its way quickly down the creek and presumably into the Colorado River a mere four miles away from the source of the contamination, a natural gas plant run by Williams, the international oil and gas company headquartered in Tulsa, Okla.

I’m outraged by what has happened, and everybody in this state should be as well. It didn’t have to happen. We could have stopped it. We just chose not to. State authorities, along with the company, have been watching this slow-motion catastrophe unfold for months, all the while taking one half-measure after another, supposedly in an effort to stop the benzene from reaching the creek. One can only assume that our state’s gas-friendly regulators have allowed Williams to use a half-assed approach full of half-measures because it was half as expensive as doing the right thing from the get-go.

Read more here