Amber Shettron: Take away severance tax benefit from communities that bar drilling

I find it interesting that Senate Bill 19-181 makes no attempt to define what scientific standards will be used in determining true health and safety concerns.

In Sen. Steve Fenberg‘s opening remarks on March 5 he stated that he wanted to protect anyone who had a “fear” of a possible negative side effect in the future. That doesn‘t appear to require much of a standard.

During testimony that day, there were obvious conflicts in “scientific studies” between the proponents and opponents. Will that be addressed in the rule making? This tremendous power by a three person appointed commission might sound like a great idea to the Democratic Party right now but they might want to keep in mind that political party control changes like the Colorado weather.

To even the playing field, perhaps those communities that “effectively bar” oil and gas activity, should also forgo any benefit from the severance tax the industry pays to the state. Those communities that are willing to tolerate the inconvenience of industry activity could share in the severance tax not given to those who effectively bar activity. Obviously, this concept is missing from the Boulder lawmakers‘ proposed bill.

As an opponent to SB19-181 who was present at the Capitol last Tuesday, I find the photo in your article about it particularly offensive. We, the opponents, were specifically asked not to bring signs into the Capitol building and not to shout inside the building.

Apparently, the proponents were either not given the same guidelines or they chose to ignore them. Your picture rewards them for that. I can only imagine the response if the industry had chosen to act in such a way.

Amber Shettron

Castle Rock

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