Forum Held to Discuss Shutdown of Select Oil Rigs

The State's Conservation Commission has proposed to shut down some Mesa and Garfield County gas rigs for three months to protect area wildlife. A forum will be held later this morning for local residents to get informed and give their own opinion on the matter.

Wildlife advocates think shutting down operations for a few months would help the populations be able to reproduce in their natural habits. That's one of the issues the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission are trying to decide.

Under new rules proposed by the board, some oil and gas rigs in wildlife sensitive areas would have to shut down for 90-days or meet with the Division of Wildlife. Oil and gas companies say it would hit their businesses hard but wildlife advocates say if they don't ,several species could be in danger.

A cost analysis by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association on the seasonal drilling restrictions found a 20-percent decrease in drilling would cut 1,782 jobs and cut gross product by $206 million.

But a State study found said the restrictions would not have significant impact on economic competitiveness, job creation or state revenues.

The forum at Two Rivers starts at 8:30 this morning.