Shut Down Rigs for Three Months?

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

The Division of Wildlife says Colorado Elk adapt well, but other animals like the Mule–Deer aren't as lucky when it comes to survival. That's why wildlife advocates are bumping heads with big oil and gas about new neighbors moving into the animals' habitats.

"They blanket the area and fragment their habitat," said Ken Neubecker, President of Colorado Trout Unlimited.

Neubecker says all wildlife suffers when the state doesn't keep a close eye on oil and gas development.

"There is potentential for doing serious damage to Colorado's wildlife heritage," said Neubecker.

Not to mention the impact on tourism revenue and hunting. He and other wildlife advocates wanted to send a message to gas companies with a new billboard on Highway 6 & 50.

Kathy Hall with the Western Sloper Oil and Gas Associatio, or C.O.G.A., says it's hard to tell how the new rules could impact the $25 billion industry that provides 71,000 jobs.

"It's hard to make a business plan with all of the uncertainty," said Hall.

A C.O.G.A. cost analysis of the seasonal drilling restrictions found a 20 percent decrease in drilling would cut gross product by $206 million and cut 1,782 jobs.

However, e a state analysis said the three-month restrictions are "not expected to have significant impact on economic competitiveness, job creation or state revenues."

"We will not know until the rules are applied," said Hall.

Both sides agree it's a tough balance, and hope as neighbors, oil and gas companies and wildlife, won't tip the scales.

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