Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Commissioners’ Activities and Letters of Support

Highlights from the various activities of the Mesa County Commissioners, and letters of support:

Resolution Supporting the Existing Statutory and Regulatory Framework for Local Authority over Oil & Gas Operations:  Adopted by the Commissioners on November 10, 2014 at public hearing, this Resolution states:

Mesa County Commissioners support the existing statutory and regulatory framework for local authority and do not believe additional clarification is necessary at this time; and Mesa County Commissioners urge Colorado Counties, Inc. (CCI) to communicate this position to the Governor of the State of Colorado, and encourage the Governor and the Governor’s Task Force on State and Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Operations to seek additional input from Colorado’s county commissioners before making any legislative or regulatory recommendations on local or state authority over oil and gas operations.”

Testimony before the Governor’s Oil & Gas Task Force: Following a November 24 letter requesting “the same consideration as offered to other communities in previous meetings” and personal appeals to the Governor for a formal agenda governing the two days of Task Force meetings, Commissioner Rose Pugliese and Commissioner John Justman provided testimony at the meeting held in Rifle, Colorado on December 10, 2014.  The Commissioners’ testimony included examples of 

Mesa County’s existing authority over oil & gas operations: the framework of which is found in the Mesa County land development code and the Energy Master Plans of Mesa County http://www.mesacounty.us/planning/energymasterplan.aspx;

Mesa County’s economic benefits from the oil and gas industry: severance tax collection, jobs for our county residents and businesses that support the industry by supplying transportation, parts and innovation. 

Four West Slope Roundtable Meeting (Water):  Commissioner Steve Acquafresca and Commissioner John Justman attended this meeting on December 18, 2014, which was held at Ute Water Conservancy District.  This meeting was sponsored by the CWCB and included discussion concerning western slope water roundtables, comments on the Colorado Water Plan and other water related topics and updates.  For more information please visit www.ColoradoRiverDistrict.org

Colorado Counties, Inc. Winter Conference:  Commissioner John Justman and Commissioner Rose Pugliese attended the Winter Conference of the Colorado Counties, Inc. (CCI) December 1 through 3, 2014.  This conference featured meetings on issues effecting Colorado counties including: Oil & Gas, child welfare, marijuana regulation, Tabor and transportation funding. 

CCI is a non-profit membership organization offering assistance to county commissioners, with a focus on information, education and legislative representation.  More information on CCI may be found at www.ccionline.org

United States Environmental Protection Agency:  Comments on the proposed rules: Clean Power Plan for existing power plants, and Waters of the U.S., by letters dated November 4, 2014:

Re: Clean Power Plan: “We oppose restrictive and punitive federal carbon regulations on existing power plants.  We favor a flexible, state-based, free market approach that will attain the air quality goals we all share, and which can be obtained more efficiently and completely than a heavy-handed, top-down approach.”

Re:  Waters of the U.S.: “Counties are already tasked with the responsibility to protect the health, welfare and safety of their residents, as well as maintain and improve quality of life.  This includes protecting valuable water resources to ensure that our waters remain clean.  ….As with many actions from the Federal Government, this appears to be a one-size-fits-all solution that creates more harm than environmental benefit. The impacts of additional Federal oversight will also impact Mesa County’s private development community, irrigation providers, and drainage districts. Discussed below are direct impacts of the Proposed Rule to Mesa County and Mesa County’s requests for revisions to the Proposed Rule….”

State Trails Committee of Colorado Parks & Wildlife:  Letters in support of three grant applications by the local office of the BLM to maintain trail systems.
“…Mesa County sees enormous value in maintaining the trail systems enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.  We are proud to partner with the tourist industry, the BLM and user groups to support and promote recreational opportunities.”

Colorado National MonumentLetter in support of the application for use of the Monument for the 2015 Tour of the Moon.

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