In case you missed it | More fracking nonsense

Photo by Jefferson Dodge

More fracking nonsense

Wow. Just when you thought that the “oversight” provided by the state agency charged with policing the oil and gas industry couldn’t get any more lax, along comes this gem.

The Denver Post (and, in true form, at least one of its corporate sister papers around these parts) reported this week that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission — you remember, the agency that is somehow supposed to both promote and police oil and gas companies — has been giving slaps on the hand to violators.

Instead of levying fines, as it is supposed to when there is a spill or other mishap, the COGCC has apparently been allowing companies to perform service projects to make up for their mistakes. And the commission has already approved 16 of these sweetheart deals this year, compared to only 12 in all of 2012, the Post reports.

Adding insult to injury is that some of these service projects are things that should already be required of oil and gas companies!

For instance, after a spill near Windsor, one company had to train local emergency responders on how to deal with oil spills. What? Do we really want the fox showing the farmer how to guard the henhouse? We can hear the company trainers now: “Oh, you probably just need to remove an inch or so of that there topsoil, it doesn’t seep down very far.”

Another company was punished for its spill by having to install a monitoring system that detects hydrocarbons. Hello? Shouldn’t the state mandate that all companies do this, at every well?

And on top of all this, the state is trying to claim that the pricetag on the service projects themselves are higher than the fines would be.

Yeah, right. Keep an eye out for those write-offs, IRS.

They done wrote it

Speaking of dim-witted moves, those northeastern Colorado counties considering seceding and forming their own state have come up with some wording for the ballot initiative this fall.

And it only took nine weeks. Um, no comment.

We just wonder where they imported the brainpower to write, edit and otherwise fine-tune this language, because it’s a real masterpiece. The version that Cheyenne County is sharing with its sister counties reads: “Shall the board of county commissioners of Cheyenne County, in concert with the county commissioners of other Colorado counties, pursue becoming the 51st state of the United States of America?” (This, again, from the Post, not the local corporate sister paper that reran it.)

Of course, this new state, which we have already lovingly dubbed North Colorado, or NoColor, will need a state flower, a state bird, a state song, etc.

Oh, wait. It probably won’t have much in the way of flowers or birds once the oil and gas industry gets done with it.

As for a song, we were thinking about Woody Guthrie’s “Keep That Oil A-Rollin’.”

And $20 says Ken Buck is NoColor’s first governor.