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Home / Articles / Views / In Case You Missed It /  In case you missed it | New oil and gas regs mean nothing
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Thursday, November 21,2013

In case you missed it | New oil and gas regs mean nothing

By Boulder Weekly Staff
Gov. John Hickenlooper

NEW OIL AND GAS REGS MEAN NOTHING IF INDUSTRY MONITORS ITSELF

State health officials, with the blessing of Gov. John Hickenlooper and the heads of the state’s three largest oil and gas producers — Noble Energy, Encana and Anadarko — have proposed a new set of rules to govern air pollution caused by the industry.

We don’t mean to sound cynical, but we will definitely have to know more before we jump on the governor’s bandwagon on this one.

After all, this is the same guy who lied to Congress about drinking fracking fluid knowing that what he actually drank was not the same stuff that he was encouraging oil and gas polluters to dump underground in Colorado.

Old “Oil Can” Hick claims that the new rules that he and the oil and gas companies are now touting as a good and fair set of regulations (that in and of itself should scare the crap out of you) will cause the industry to capture 95 percent of the contamination that they now spew into our air. Sounds good, but what the hell does it really mean?

Before you can capture 95 percent of the air contamination, you’d have to know exactly how much contamination is being emitted from each well, production platform, pipeline and compressor station. But as you may recall, Hickenlooper fought to defeat a bill that would have created enough inspectors to tell us what the baseline contamination really is. So how will we know if oil and gas companies are really in compliance with the new regulations? You guessed it. Hick’s industry pals are going to be in charge of telling us what is being emitted and then confirming that they are capturing the required amount. In other words, the new regs are likely going to be just another layer of meaningless self-reporting that the industry ignores, knowing that there’s not enough manpower to catch them cheating and miniscule fines even if they were to get caught by some miracle.

Until we see a mechanism created that would allow for accurate and strong enforcement of these new regs, we will consider them to be just the latest PR campaign designed by the industry and its puppet governor to convince the public that oil and gas is something other than what it is: one of the dirtiest industries in the world. If you want real regs that work, then keep passing them and enforcing them at the local level.

ICEBOX INSIGHT

Funny email of the week goes to a dating service called Check Their Fridge. Yes, this operation revolves around telling you what kind of person you are going out with based on what’s in his or her refrigerator.

Apparently, after living the single life for more than 20 years, John Stonehill figured out that checking his dates’ fridges revealed great insight into the kind of people they were, from health to lifestyle to income to the kind of romantic partner they’ll be.

Now he calls himself the world’s first RDE, Referigerator Dating Expert. Readers submit pictures of their dates’ fridges to www.checktheirfridge.com, and Stonehill breaks down what he sees using a “Fridge Dating Scorecard” that gives odds on your chances of sex, marriage and “if your date is a bunny-boiler,” according to his press release.

Next, we’d like to see someone launch a similar service based on what’s in one’s medicine cabinet.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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