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Al Manzi, President and Publisher
Kevin Kaufman, Editor
Dave Krieger, Editorial Page Editor


COGCC forces Broomfields hand

hen Broomfield City Council footing with oil and gas interests at next Sterling, or Rifle, for instance, are regu- COGCC feels its already heard plenty
met last, City and County months hearings.. larly considered and decided in Den- from Broomfield. (T)he commission
Manager Charles Ozaki The COGCC holds eight or nine hear- ver. staff has engaged with the Broomfield
reported that the Colorado Oil and Gas ings a year, Lepore explained. Most of In other words, the COGCC inconve- City Council, City Staff, the Broomfield
Conservation Commission had refused them are in Denver, but two or three niences Western Slope parties routine- Oil and Gas Committee and residents
his request to move its hearing on a per year are held around the state in ly; its only fair that it inconvenience of Anthem Ranch and Wild Grass
massive oil drilling application for various oil and gas producing basins. Front Range communities in the same neighborhoods on multiple occasions
Broomfield open space from Durango, Given the far-flung nature of Colorado way. It sets the dates and locations of its beginning in early January concerning
some 350 miles away, to someplace oil and gas extraction operations, this hearings so far in advance it cant possi- Extractions proposed oil and gas devel-
closer. makes perfect sense to us. What didnt bly know what will come up at them. opment, he wrote. We have discussed
City staff thought the request might make sense was what followed: Given the commissions enthusiasm many aspects of the Commissions reg-
carry more weight coming from the The location of a hearing is wholly for oil drilling, it seems unlikely it ulatory and permitting regimes, includ-
peoples elected representatives, so the unrelated to the matters that will be would consider the environmental ing applications for spacing mineral
council voted to make the change-of- before the Commission at that hearing; implications of regularly requiring large acreage for development and the Com-
venue request its own. Its a hardship indeed, when the hearings are sched- parties to schlep across the state to missions process for considering spac-
for interested stakeholders to travel uled, the Commission has no way of attend its hearings. Nor did Lepore evi- ing applications.
nearly 350 miles to go to this hearing in knowing what will be on its docket for dence any concern for the burden on Of course, Extraction hadnt actually
Durango, Councilwoman Bette Erick- any given hearing, Lepore wrote. working people of adding travel days to filed the current applications back then,
son observed. It seems to us the whole point of weekday hearing schedules. but why quibble over technicalities?
Last week, we reached out to Matt holding hearings in different places Knowing were likely to get the usual After all, as the Colorado Independent
Lepore, executive director of the around the state should be to make it bureaucratic response This is the reported recently, the COGCC cannot
COGCC, to ask why the commission easier for affected parties and commu- way weve always done it we would come up with a single instance in its 66-
thought it made sense to consider spac- nities to be heard. If an issue arises on still ask why the commission must be year history in which it rejected a drill-
ing applications for scores of oil wells to the Western Slope, the hearing on that so inflexible. In this case, it has decided ing permit application, so perhaps com-
be drilled in Broomfield at a hearing issue should take place there. Similarly, the spacing applications by Extraction munity input is just a formality.
located roughly seven hours away by if the commission is considering appli- Oil and Gas are, in Lepores word, Given the COGCCs inflexibility,
car. Based on his reply, were assuming cations that have caused great concern ripe for the hearing in Durango on Broomfield would appear to have no
he will refuse the Broomfield councils in Broomfield residential neighbor- Sept. 11 and 12. alternative but to protest the spacing
request. hoods, it should hold its hearing on Broomfield clearly feels otherwise. applications filed by Extraction and Cre-
Lepores response was long on justifi- those applications nearby, so residents The city is still working feverishly, with stone Peak Resources in an effort to
cations of the COGCCs traditional pro- can at least feel heard, in person, even meetings scheduled throughout push back the hearing. Requiring that
cedures and short on empathy for a if the commission intends to ignore August, to complete its oil and gas com- the process be made more contentious
community facing the forcible imposi- their objections. prehensive plan, which will establish in order to change the venue seems
tion of residential oil drilling on a mas- In Lepores telling, this is just too the standards against which it judges odd even for a tradition-bound body
sive scale over its objections. He seems hard. It is beyond the COGCCs capa- the Extraction applications. Assuming like the COGCC, but if theres one
to believe that the commissions cus- bility to coordinate hearing locations City Council gets the same response we thing weve learned through this pro-
tom of scheduling meeting locations with hearing subject matter. The Com- did, it has until Aug. 28 to protest the cess, its that following the commis-
without regard to the convenience of mission regularly hears matters con- applications, which should have the sions rules is what matters most.
the parties to the proceedings should cerning non-Front Range operations at effect of bumping them to the Dave Krieger, for the editorial board.
take precedence over the right of its hearings in Denver, he wrote. Mat- COGCCs October hearings in Denver. Email:
Broomfield citizens to be on an equal ters involving operations in Gunnison, Judging by Lepores response, the Twitter: @DaveKrieger

So far, democracys guardrails are holding

Washington Post

future trivia question
and historical footnote,
the spectacular 10-day flameout of
Anthony Scaramucci qualifies as
the most entertaining episode yet
of the ongoing reality show that is
the Trump presidency. (Working
title: The Pompadours of 1600
Pennsylvania.) But even as the
cocksure sycophants gobsmack-
ing spectacle stole the show,
something of real importance took
place a bit lower on the radar.
At five separate junctures, the
sinews of our democracy held
against the careening reckless-
ness of this presidency. Conse-
quently, Donald Trumps worst
week proved a particularly fine
Alex Wong / Getty Images
hour for American democracy: President Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House on July 31.
1. The military says no to
Trump on the transgender ban. as a matter of procedure. But the that it is a coequal branch. priate confection, at once whining, well.
Well, not directly thats insub- refusal carried with it a reminder 3. Senate Republicans reject self-referential, partisan and politi- Trump is a systemic stress test.
ordination but with rather ele- of institutional prerogatives. In the Obamacare repeal. cal. The results are good, thus far.
gant circumspection. The presi- this case, the military offered The causes here are multiple, How do you blow a speech to
dent tweeted out a total ban on resistance to mere whimsy. Next most having nothing to do with Boy Scouts? No merit badge for Email:
transgender people serving in the the big guy.
time, it could be resistance to Trump. Republicans are deeply
military. It came practically out of 5. The police chiefs chide.
unlawfulness. divided on the proper role of gov-
nowhere. The military brass, not In an address to law enforce-
2. The Senate saves Ses- ernment in health care. This divi- To Write the Forum
consulted, was not amused. ment officials, Trump gave a wink
sions. sion is compounded by the sea The Camera welcomes readers
Defense Secretary James Mattis, and a nod to cops roughing up
Trumps relentless public humil- change in public opinion as, over letters. Timely topics of local
in the middle of a six-month suspects. Several police chiefs
review of the issue, was reported- iation of Attorney General Jeff seven years, Obamacare has interest are given first preference.
Sessions was clearly intended to become part of the fabric of Amer- subsequently reprimanded Trump All letters are subject to editing.
ly appalled. for encouraging police brutality Our guidelines:
What was done? Nothing. The get him to resign. He didnt, in ican medicine, and health care has
part because of increasing sup- come to be seen as a right rather a mild form, perhaps, but brutality Maximum length for letters is 300
chairman of the Joint Chiefs sim- still. words. Maximum length for guest
ply declared that a tweet is not an port from Congress. Sessions for- than a commodity. opinions is 750 words
Press secretary Sarah Hucka-
order. Until he receives a formal mer colleagues came out strongly Nonetheless, the stunning Sen- Name, full address and daytime
bee Sanders said it was all a joke. phone required
command and develops new in his defense and some openly ate rejection of repeal was also a
Nonsense. It was an ugly senti- No anonymous or open letters
guidelines, the tweet will be criticized the presidents shabby pointed rejection of Trumps ment, expressed coyly enough to No name-calling or ad hominem
treatment of his first and most fer- health care hectoring. And a show attacks
ignored. be waved away as humor but with Each writer limited to one letter or
In other words, the military told vent senatorial supporter. of senatorial disdain for Trump the thuggish undertone of a man guest opinion in any rolling 30-day
the commander in chief to go Indeed, Chuck Grassley, chair- craving a personal legislative who, heckled at a campaign rally, period
Submissions must be sent by email.
jump in a lake. Generally speak- man of the Judiciary Committee, win on an issue about whose pol- once said approvingly that in the Attachments are discouraged. PDF
ing, this is not a healthy state of warned Trump not to fire Ses- icy choices he knew nothing and old days guys like that would attachments are strongly discouraged.
affairs in a nation of civilian con- sions because he wouldnt get cared less. be carried out on a stretcher. Write or paste your letter directly into the
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trol. It does carry a whiff of insub- another attorney general the 4. The Boy Scouts protest. Whatever your substantive posi-
ordination. But under a president committees entire 2017 schedule In a rebuke not as earthshaking tion on the various issues involved To reach us:
was set and there would be no but still telling, the chief executive Send letters and guest opinions to
so uniquely impulsive and chroni- above, we should all be grateful
cally irrational, a certain vigilance, hearings to approve a new AG. of the Boy Scouts found it neces- that from the generals to the Call the editorial department at 303-
even prickliness, on the part of the That was a finger to the eye of the sary to apologize for the presi- Scouts, from the senators to the 473-1354
Send questions to editorial page editor
military is to be welcomed. president. Every once in a while, dents speech to their quadrennial cops, the institutions of both politi- Dave Krieger at
The brass framed their inaction the Senate seems to remember jamboree. It was a wildly inappro- cal and civil society are holding up