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Statement of Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project Director Bruce Baizel

Sep 25 – Today Colorado Governor Hickenlooper’s oil and gas commission is holding its first meeting. On the agenda is defining the group's scope. The Governor formed the commission via executive order to “recommend policy or legislation to harmonize state and local regulatory structures” dealing with oil and gas operations.

“This commission exists for one reason only, because hundreds of thousands of Coloradans declared that they wanted communities to be able to decide if they want to live with oil and gas development. Unfortunately, the first concern of the commission, as defined by the Governor's Executive Order, is not the health of communities but the health of the oil and gas industry.

The true measure of the commission will be simple. If it recommends that local communities can decide for themselves if, and how, they want to live with oil and gas development, it will be a success.  If doesn't, it will be a failure.

So the first step in assessing the commission will be to see if the possibility of community control of oil and gas development lies within the scope of work the commission defines for itself.”

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