OIL AND GAS COMMISSION AGREES ON NEW SETBACK RULES
Colorado regulators have voted to require new oil and gas wells to be drilled at least 500 feet from homes and buildings. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted 8-1 in favor of the new setback rule yesterday. Currently, wells must be 150 feet from buildings in rural areas and 350 feet away in more populated areas. Operators can still apply for permission to drill closer than 500 feet. Environmentalists and community groups pushed for a 1,000-foot buffer but the oil and gas industry opposed bigger setbacks, saying it may make it more difficult to develop resources. The building industry and Weld County commissioners also opposed bigger setbacks. The new rule comes as drilling moves into more populated areas.
BAUMGARDNER/RANKIN TO MEET WITH RESIDENTS IN MEEKER
A couple of Colorado lawmakers plan to be in Meeker this weekend to talk with residents. Senator Randy Baumgardner and Representative Bob Rankin, both republicans, will host a meet and greet Saturday, and give an update on current legislation being discussed by the General Assembly. Baumgardner represents the 8th Senate district, and Rankin represents House District 57. The meet and greet will be held Saturday from noon to 1:30 at the Meeker Cafe.
APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR CRAIG CITIZENS POLICE ACADEMY
The Craig Police Department is getting ready for another course of their Citizens Police Academy. The Academy does not offer certification for someone to become a police officer, but rather enlightens the attendee about the inner workings of the Craig Police Department. The training is provided by department personnel. You must be able to pass a background check to participate. Classes will start March 7th, and will be held every Thursday night for 10 weeks. Applications are available at the Public Safety Center, and must be returned by March 1st. Those that have been accepted, will be contacted before classes start.
COLORADO HOUSE TO DEBATE GUN CONTROL BILLS
The Colorado House will begin debating gun control measures in a package aimed at curbing gun violence. Hearings will take place today and tomorrow, as lawmakers discuss banning high capacity magazines, universal background checks, concealed carry permits on college campuses, and fees for background checks. Today’s hearings on magazines and background checks will be discussed in the House Judiciary Committee, while Wednesday’s hearings on concealed carry and background check fees will be discussed in the House Education Committee. The hearings are open to the public.
SENATE PASSES CIVIL UNION LEGISLATION
The Colorado Senate has passed a civil unions bill for same-sex couples. It’s the third time the senate has passed a civil unions bill. However, this year, democrats are in control of the house, meaning the bill will likely make it through. Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper has also said he would sign the bill. While democrats say the bill will give same-sex couple the same legal rights as married couples, Republicans are afraid it will lead to gay marriage. The state constitution bans gay marriage.
BILL INTENDED TO MAKE CONTROLLED BURNS SAFER
Colorado lawmakers are trying to make prescribed burning operations safer. Senate Bill 83 would set up safety standards for any state or local agency wanting to conduct a controlled burn. The legislation is a response to the Lower Fork Fire on the front range last year, which was started by the smoldering remains of a prescribed burn conducted by a state fire crew. The bill would limit the use of controlled burns, but rather sets up minimum safety guidelines for determining whether a burn should be conducted. It also requires that a supervisor stay on hand until the fire is completely out. Federal agencies, such as the BLM and the U-S Forest Service would be exempt from the law.
In high school sports:
Moffat County goes to Aspen. The girls tip off at 6 and the boys at 7.