NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 16TH

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OIL AND GAS COMMISSION RECOGNIZES COMPANIES’ EFFORTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has announced its selections for outstanding operators in 2011. The awards recognize the accomplishments of the oil and gas industry in operational and environmental areas as well as in community involvement.  Those with ties to Northwest Colorado include Encana Oil and Gas, which was given the commission’s Environmental Protection and Reclamation Award.  Encana uses a “one touch” method to reclaim disturbed sites in the Piceance Basin that makes it appear the area was never disturbed.  The Recycling and Reuse Award went to Oxy USA, which has developed methods to recycle and reuse produced water within the Piceance Basin by filtering up to 10,000 barrels per day for use in its drilling, completion, and fracturing operations.  WPX which maintains a network of pipeline in the Piceance Basin, was given the Environmental Protection Through Footprint Reduction $ Waste Management Award.  The monitoring of the pipelines is automated, which reduces the need for workers to disturb the land by being onsite.  This round of awards marks the 16th year the agency has highlighted top operators.

 

CONGRESSMAN SCOTT TIPTON WRAPS UP STEAMBOAT VISIT TODAY

Congressman Scott Tipton will continue his visit in Steamboat today.  Tipton was in town to address the Colorado Water Congress yesterday, but has stuck around to visit with residents and business owners.  Tipton will take part in a roundtable discussion with local farmers and ranchers this morning on issues impacting their operations.  That starts at 10:30 at Centennial Hall.  The Congressman will then tour B&K Distributing at 2 this afternoon.

 

BLM TO RECEIVE LETTER REGARDING OIL SHALE OPERATIONS

Individuals, business leaders, outdoor recreation organizations, farmers, ranchers, and others on the Western Slope have sent a letter sent to the Bureau of Land Management to ask for a smart approach to oil shale development that protects Western water.  Facing a severe drought that has impacted every region of the state, they want to ensure that any water impacts are fully evaluated before commercial development of oil shale rocks.  While the group is not opposed to oil shale development, they say the industry should be required to conduct the necessary research prior to commercial leasing to prove that oil shale is economically viable and that it will not pose a dangerous risk to drinking water, the agricultural industry, and rivers.  The letter comes just one month before the BLM is set to finalize its plan to allow oil shale research and development on over 460,000 acres of federal public lands. The decision is expected September 14.

 

OPEN HOUSE TODAY AT MESA SCHOOLHOUSE IN STEAMBOAT

The Mesa Schoolhouse in Steamboat will host another Open House today, for those who didn’t get the chance to be there last week.  Tours will be given of the historic schoolhouse, where visitors can see what school life was like at the turn of the century.  Organizers say you’ll learn about historic toys and recess games, Routt County school history, and much more.  Kids can even play with some of the historic toy replicas.  There is no RSVP necessary and there is no charge.  The open house will be held from 10 to 2 today.

 

ROUTT COUNTY FAIR CONTINUES THIS WEEK

The Routt County Fair continues today.  Livestock shows dominate the day, starting with the 4-H and FFA Rabbit and Poultry show at 8, and ending with the Market Lamb show at around 4.  The Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry will take place on the east side of the grandstands at 6:30 tonight.  Make sure and take the kids tomorrow, as First National Bank of the Rockies in Hayden will sponsor a “Ride Free ’til Five Fun Friday”, where all inflatable rides are free until 5 in the evening.  Livestock shows continue tomorrow, and the Dress Your Animal Contest starts at 9:30 in the Multi Purpose building.  The wine and beer contest starts at 6 and the Demolition Derby begins at 7:30, with music provided by Total Entertainment.  If you’d like a complete schedule of events, click on the Routt County Fair tile on this page.

 

UDALL HOSTS A HEARING TO DISCUSS WILDFIRE MITIGATION

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall held a hearing in Colorado Springs yesterday to discuss forest health and recent western wildfires.  Udall said he wants to find out what lessons can be applied to future suppression, recovery and mitigation efforts.  Udall says federal officials need to review wildfire challenges the West faces as well as solutions to help restore forests and reduce the damage to communities and the economy.

 

CAMPAIGN AD BLASTS REPUBLICANS

A new campaign against Republican lawmakers in Colorado was inspired by a civil unions bill – but the proposal isn’t mentioned in the $100,000 campaign.  The campaign blasts Republicans for shutting down debate late in this year’s legislative session.  The shutdown was caused by some Republicans who opposed a civil unions measure giving same-sex couples the same rights as married couples.  The campaign is funded by a left-leaning political group. It seeks to oust Republicans from their narrow majority in the state House.  No specific lawmakers are mentioned, nor is the civil unions bill.  Campaign organizers said they chose to focus on bills that didn’t pass because of the civil unions standoff.