Prove it

In a February 23rd story, the Denver Post reports that homeowner Tracy Dahl lost his case before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Dahl’s water went bad on June 30, 2010, according to the Post story, “the same day that Pioneer fracked its Alibi well about 1300 feet away.”

The COGCC – which “regulates” gas extraction in the state – is notoriously pro-industry,  a universal condition of regulating agencies, which really serve the industry they’re supposed to be watchdogging.

According to the story,

“‘There is no question there is something wrong with your well,” commission member Mark Cutright said. ‘The question is whether you proved fracking impacted your well.’

“The commission, in a unanimous vote, ruled Dahl had not.

“‘Alibi is a good name for that well,’ Dahl said.

“The commission investigates dozens of well complaints each year.”

Whether any of those complaints receive a fair hearing is a question worth considering.  According to someone present at the hearing, “The landowner…was not allowed to present his side of the story and [was] barred from submitting his consultant’s reports on the grounds they were hearsay.”

The oil & gas industry is used to calling the shots wherever it goes, a reality that must be acknowledged by any individual considering leasing and every public official in every state where the industry seeks drilling permits.  To fail to understand the nature of the industry, and the nature of its relationship with its “regulating” agencies, is to pave the way for tragedy and travesty.

Complete Denver Post story here.