Energy policy — oil and gas: Are Colorado fines too low in water pollution instances?

A picture named derrick.jpg

From Real Vail (David O. Williams):

Leslie Robinson, a Rifle resident and member of the Grand Valley Citizen Alliance, says she is concerned the fines are far too low and don’t meaningfully punish oil and gas operators for polluting local waters. Specifically, she is dismayed at COGCC agreements reached on June 23 with Berry Petroleum ($173,000) and Marathon Oil ($143,350) for hydraulic fracturing fluid and other drilling fluid spills into Garden Gulch on the Roan Plateau beginning in 2007. “Marathon paid a fine of only about a dime per gallon for draining over 1 million gallons of chemically contaminated drilling and fracking flow-back waste into local creeks and the Colorado River near Parachute,” said Robinson, a former journalist who first covered the Garden Gulch cases in early 2008. “The COGCC didn’t inflict any pain — except for a couple of days of bad PR. Really, what’s a hundred thousand dollars or two to this behemoth industry? That’s the cost of a Christmas party.”

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

Leave a Reply