Interior Department opening Colorado's North Park to gas and oil drilling

“Certainly, if we want to supply some of our domestic energy needs, drilling is going to occur in places like this,” BLM spokesman

Interior Department opening Colorado’s North Park to gas and oil drilling. By Bruce Finley. The Denver Post

I can already see that “we” are going to get blamed for the Gulf of Mexico oil fountain. Now we learn that “we” want to sacrifice North Park.

This seems odd. I wasn’t one of those “drill baby drill” people, and I don’t know any of them.  It seems to me the phrase was invented by political organizers designed to be spread from the top down.

In the article above, certified genius Dr. Patty Limerick had this to say “Given our energy habits, and given our inability to change them, we have to go forward with this,” said Patty Limerick, director of the University of Colorado’s Center of the American West, who recently hosted BLM leaders at a forum and is preparing a report to guide conservation initiatives.”

I’ve heard this noted historian speak several times. This is typical. She tends to blame the masses (us). Maybe she should read Howard Zinn’s, A People History of the United States.”


  1. jburnham Avatar

    “Certainly, if we want to supply some of our domestic energy needs, drilling is going to occur in places like this,” BLM spokesman Steven Hall said.”

    Wow, is this part of some policy statement? What exactly does ‘…places like this’ mean? Is Hall speaking for Colorado BLM or Interior policy? I wouldn’t be surprised if Interior higher ups try to walk this statement back a bit.

    This is so frustrating. We need a coordinated, national energy policy and we can’t just write off conservation (of energy and wildlands) before we begin.

  2. Bill Dumler Avatar
    Bill Dumler

    From our experience having battled for +10 years with an oil field’s dumping of waste water into a small, pristine North Park creek, it is vital that regulations are changed so that oil producers are required to consider all the costs ( ).

    Under current regulations, the oil field we’re battling is allowed to make the decision regarding how much ground water they use and how the waste water will be dumped. On an average month, the field pumps and dumps +100000 barrels (+5M gallons) of water to produce ~500 barrels of oil. It uses 10000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of oil. Besides the polluting of the creek, is that an efficiency use of water, a precious western resource?

    The quality of the water dumped is suppose to be regulated by the Colo. Health Dept (CDPHE). For the last 4 years, the oil field has operated under an expired permit which according to the CDPHE includes many typographical errors and doesn’t properly protect the creek’s ecosystem. Wonder how many other permits issued by CDPHE include typographical errors?

    Our experience has been extremely frustrating. Anyone who thinks that there exists a govt. oil regulatory agency ready and willing to offer protection is grossly mistaken. Current regulations obvious protect only the interest of the oil producers.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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