Region leaders gear up to protest new rules

RANGELY — A special report outlining planned regulations and legislation from state and federal government that would cripple or almost destroy the area’s economy was presented at Rangely’s monthly community networking meeting by Sandy Been of EIS Solutions in Grand Junction.
According to Been, foremost is a plan that would require all drilling rigs and related equipment to be removed from the Piceance Basin from Jan. 1 to March 31 every year. Since it would take about six weeks on both ends of that period to mobilize and then de-mobilize, it would be an almost six month drilling ban for local energy companies and businesses throughout our communities. It was pointed out that each rig accounts for about 40 jobs directly and the energy industry supports up to 900 jobs in other related services and in general businesses in our region.
Due to the unknown future of regulations like this and agitation from outside special interest groups, major companies like EnCana are already planning to move about 20 percent of their equipment and jobs out of the area.
A public forum for these and many other negative growth initiatives will be held June 10 at the Two Rivers Center in Grand Junction from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and all community members who will be impacted are encouraged to attend and add your voices.
John Boyd from CNCC reported that funding in the amount of $35 million has been approved for capital projects for the college. $23 million will go to the construction of the long-awaited Craig Campus and the remainder will cover renovations in Rangely, including $6.8 million for the work outlined in the Chevron Energy Audit. Among other projects, a total overhaul of the central heating and air conditioning system on campus will be made and provisions for a future geothermal system will be included.
In a case of strange bedfellows, the initiative to allow high stakes gambling in Colorado resorts would channel the increased tax revenue primarily into the community college system.
A major coup for the Rangely Rock Crawlers organization will come to fruition July 11-12 in the form of national coverage from ESPN Sports, the Discovery Channel and 4-Wheeler magazine showcasing the 600 acre off-road park and many of our local enthusiasts. This park is unique in Colorado and offers many challenges to participants. An estimated 50 or more crew members will be in town to film the presentation.
The long-awaited renovation of the recreation center is slated to begin July 7 and will continue for 10 months. The complete removal of the existing pool shell and replacing the current roof structure will be the highest priority project.
Pat Lollar with Moon Lake Electric reported on their meeting with members of the Utah Delegation in Washington D.C. A pending bill before Congress called the Lieberman-Warner Act would inflict severe additional “carbon taxes” on electric producers and raise residential power bills up to 75 percent or about $4,000 per year for the typical Moon Lake customer. It is also projected that many small businesses and some agriculture providers would be forced out of business. Consumers are advised to contact our elected officials and urge the swift defeat of this anti-energy measure.
A highway clean-up project sponsored by local energy companies will take place on County Road 5 (Piceance Creek) Saturday, May 31. This is a fundraising project for our high school and middle school students. No younger children should be allowed on the highway for safety reasons.