Dan Haley Archives - Colorado Politics

Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 7, 20175min126
Sen. Matt Jones of Louisville said Wednesday he plans to introduce a bill in the next session to give local governments more authority to “plan, zone, and refuse to allow oil and gas operations as they see fit — just as they do with every other industry.” Though Jones is the Senate Democrats’ appointed leader […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchSeptember 7, 20174min111
Oil and natural gas companies that do business in Colorado are investing in a lot more then drilling, pumping, support services and politics. Members of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association have donated about $10 million, and climbing, to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. “Houston, in many […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 22, 20174min960

While ozone levels are falling in north metro Denver, both sides of the oil-and-gas development debate are taking a deep breath to explain why.

State regulators report that emissions of volatile organic compounds, a key ingredient in ground-level ozone, have fallen by one-half in metro Denver and the northern Front Range, the battlefield over fracking.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry group, reports that meanwhile production statewide quadrupled during the six-year period.

The industry, its association said, has reduced emissions and mitigated effects “as part of its ongoing commitment to being good stewards of our natural resources and protecting the environment.”

The falling numbers prove regulations are working and more can be done, said Dan Grossman, the Environmental Defense Fund’s Rocky Mountain regional director and senior director of EDF’s state programs on oil and gas.

“Colorado’s oil and gas industry is responsible for the emission of hundreds of thousands of tons of ozone-precursor VOCs and climate-disrupting methane each year,” he told Colorado Politics. “And as the state looks to comply with the more stringent 2015 ozone standard of 70 ppb, and to continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.

Grossman added, “Simple, cost-effective measures (such as increased inspection requirements for smaller wells and replacing leaky pneumatic devices with more efficient ones) are readily available to industry to further reduce pollution from the state’s oil and gas facilities. It is past time to implement them.”

Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said the reductions can be attributed to “technological innovation, regulatory initiatives currently on the books and leadership from our industry.”

COGA pointed out that the West’s “background” ozone levels, those that occur naturally without a human-related cause, are the highest in the United States.

“Consequently, addressing ozone related challenges in Colorado is an extremely difficult, economy-wide undertaking, as only 20 to 30 percent of the emissions needed to form ozone in the non-attainment area are actually produced by Colorado-based human activity,” COGA said in a statement. “These activities include but are not limited to cars, boats, planes, tractors, as well as industrial plants, lawn and garden equipment, and even household products like paints, solvents, and hair spray.”

The announcement was part of the industry’s “Clear the Air: The Facts on CEO” campaign. The CEO stands for climate, energy and ozone.

The industry has invested heavily in research and public outreach to convince Coloradans not to impose new rules that could drive the business out of the state.

“This summer’s ozone season is not over yet, and there is a lot Coloradans can do to mitigate ground-level ozone and reduce the number of ozone-exceedance days,” Haley said in a satement. “COGA will continue sharing the facts and working with members of industry to support ongoing efforts to reduce emissions in the nonattainment area.”


Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 7, 201720min168
A Colorado-sized political fight is collecting heat just below the surface of a non-election year summer. In next year’s governor’s race, money could be spent like it’s never been spent before if the flash point issue is energy. U.S. Rep. Jared Polis is a candidate striking matches. The best-known (and likely to be the best-financed) […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMay 1, 20173min1050

Just last Friday we noted here that incendiary anti-fracking activist Andrew O’Connor of Lafayette was “poised to mount a petition drive for what could be the next big ballot battle with the oil and gas industry.” His proposal: doubling Colorado’s severance tax on oil and gas production. Not a fan of the industry, that O’Connor.

You’ll recall he also was the guy who had made headlines (and drove page clicks) with his endorsement of violence against fracking operations, as enunciated in a letter to the editor of the Boulder Daily Camera. He told us in a follow-up chat, “I wouldn’t have a problem with a sniper shooting one of the workers” at a fracking site.

But as it turned out, by later the same Friday, a lot had changed: O’Connor still abhorred fracking, to be sure — but his ballot proposal was dead.

Although as we initially reported, the proposal’s ballot title had been set April 19 by the state’s title setting board — allowing O’Connor to begin petitioning the proposal onto the statewide ballot — a motion for a reconsideration was filed last Wednesday by attorneys for Chad Vorthmann (he’s executive V.P. of the Colorado Farm Bureau).  His motion contended among other things that O’Connor had made changes to the draft of his proposal after the public comment and review period, but he failed to indicate what those changes were. That left the title board in the dark.

The board agreed and on Friday reversed its previous decision, nixing the proposal. It ruled that without clear direction on what changes were made, the board lacked jurisdiction to approve the proposal.

Colorado Oil and Gas Association President Dan Haley, not surprisingly, said it was all for the best:

This was a poorly structured ballot initiative from the beginning and the title board’s 3-0 ruling clearly showed its flaws. The entire state benefits from the current severance tax structure, which has provided a stable mechanism that has served us well for decades.

But will the outspoken O’Connor drop from the scene as quickly as his ballot proposal? We’ll guess he’s going to stick around a while.



John TomasicJohn TomasicApril 19, 201715min98

In Colorado, the rule is that oil and gas wells can be sited 1,000 feet from a school building. A bill that aimed to update that rule to measure the setback instead from the school property line drew crowds to the Capitol this month to testify in support of it and major drilling industry figures to argue against it. In the end, there were no surprises concerning its fate. Oil and gas drilling has long been a top partisan issue at the Legislature.


John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 23, 20176min971

There are some 100 witnesses lined up to testify at the committee hearing for a bill that would require oil and gas drillers to site wells at least 1,000 feet from school property. Attendees are hoping the hearing finishes by midnight. No one at the Capitol could be surprised by the turnout at the hearing. The overwhelming majority of witnesses at the hearing are residents of northern Front Range Colorado counties that have been pocked over the last five years with thousands of wells. It’s an area where agricultural fields increasingly give way to commuter suburbs — a roughly 5,000 square-mile region that stretches from Denver International Airport north of the city to the Wyoming border. It is one of the hubs of the boom-time oil and gas fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, activity that has criss-crossed the state.


John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 17, 20175min1210

"Yeah, it seems like they don't like it that much," said state Rep. Mike Foote on Thursday. He was talking about the oil and gas industry's view of his new drilling setback bill. Foote's <a href="http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1256" target="_blank">House Bill 1256</a> would clarify that the minimum 1,000-foot distance separating schools from new oil and gas wells must be measured from the school property line, not from the school building. Foote, a Democrat from Lafayette and a Boulder County deputy district attorney, has taken up the issue of suburban drilling on the northern Front Range repeatedly at the Legislature, only to run into stiff resistance from the industry and Republican lawmakers. He said he has been in preliminary communication with the industry about his bill.

Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 13, 20173min94
Come March 1, the man who speaks for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Scott Prestidge, will be the man who used to speak for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. Prestidge will be the oil-and-gas trade association’s communications director, after a stint as energy industry director for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., an affiliate of […]

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