Sunday, May 18, 2014

Empassioned 14 year old boy grills COGCC

A good friend of CHC just sent out an email with a video clip about a 14 year old boy from Boulder who challenged the COGCC, and tried to get a state-wide moratorium on fracking in Colorado - Click here to view the video.  He used data from the COGCC website, and put together quite a compelling argument.  If only more of us were this passionate and outspoken about the environmental damage being done in our backyards.  It is very clear what is going on, yet the oil & gas industry continues to put out TV ads and other propaganda about how "safe" fracking is, when it has been proven time and time again to be extremely harmful.  As discouraging as this video may appear, it is only the beginning.  Will it continue to be "more of the same" or will we, as a society begin to wake up, and demand that the democratic process be reestablished?  Please support CHC in keeping the health and environmental damage out of our communities, and restoring democracy in Colorado.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fracking with Real Estate

Nobody prefers pollution over a clean environment. Even the most ardent anti-environmentalist has a cutoff point where they believe environmental contamination is not worth the benefits derived from the activity that creates it.  Though where this line is drawn is a matter of one’s values and opinion, the information that informs this opinion should be factual. An often heard opinion is that Oil & Gas development and fracking is good for Huerfano County’s economy, but this claim is rarely, if ever, supported by a cost benefit analysis factoring in the negatives like noise, toxic fumes, pipelines, increased truck traffic, lights, noxious air emissions, water contamination and the potential destruction of our clean and uncluttered landscape.  All of which are economic liabilities for property owners. Banks and insurers are adopting guidelines that forbid mortgage loans or insurance coverage on properties affected by drilling.  Boulder, CO, real estate agent, Nanner Fisher, told the Boulder iJournal that selling properties near drilling operations is difficult. “For the most part, if there is a well that’s visible when you show a property, [the prospective buyer] will ask to see something else.” According to a white paper prepared for the New York State Bar Association, home mortgage lender Wells Fargo won’t make home loans for properties that have gas drilling leases attached to them. Provident Funding, GMAC, FNCB, Fidelity, First Liberty, First Place Bank, Solvay Bank, Tompkins Trust Co. and CFCU Community Credit Union are putting hard-to-meet conditions on mortgages or denying loans on properties with O&G leases. Federal mortgage institutions (FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) have prohibitions against lending on properties where drilling is taking place or where hazardous materials are stored. A drilling lease on a property financed through one of these agencies would result in a “technical default.” Homeowners who think damage to property incurred by drilling accidents is covered by insurance need to think again. Such damages are typically not covered. 
An article from Eco Watch about this subject:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Instructions to find leases and leasing trends

We in Huerfano County have 4 oil and gas companies who own leases at this time.  They are:  SWEPI (Shell Western Exploration and Production Inc), iii Exploration/Petroglyph, Tabula Rasa, and OXY USA.  SWEPI (Shell) has leases all around the Gardner area in two federal units, through Majors Ranch, then north, west, south, and under La Veta.  iiiExploration/Petroglyph own leases under La Veta and north into Majors Ranch, then east to Walsenburg through Navajo, Rio Cucharas, River Ridge and private lands.  Tabula Rasa bought out Manzano west of La Veta and south of Hwy 160.  They now own the processing plant. A new well has been drilled, with another submitted for approval.  OXY USA has taken over where ARCO was at Sheep Mt and surroundings, looking for CO2.  They’ve just had 3 wells approved.  Do you wonder who owns minerals under your land or in your area?  Below are instructions to the County Recorder website to find out who has interest in your area. 

Instructions to find leases and companies in Huerfano County:
  • Go to (click here):  the County Recorder
  • Click Colorado and Huerfano County, then GO.
  • Say Yes, I accept.
  • Click Search.
  • Go to Document Type, click Load, then scroll to Oil and Gas Lease.
  • Then click Name, which will give you all lease holders and companies, or you can type in a particular name.  Or click Business Name for a particular company.
  • Click 50 per page..
  • In the upper right of the page you will see numbers 1-110 (or higher).  Click the last number for the most recent lease signings or renewals.
  • Click on the 6 digit blue number on the left and you will see when the lease was obtained, who the seller of it is, and who the company is that bought the lease.   Keep this blue number if you want more details on a specific lease as this site doesn’t give details of exact location, just the section, township, and range that the lease is in.  Example: 20 (section) 29S (township) 68W (range) You can get detailed information at the County Clerk’s office on their Computers using the 6 digit number.
Or... You can follow directions above and just above the 50 per page, you can enter into the Legal box your Section, Township and Range, which you will see on your deed. (Example: 20 29S 68W) This will give you companies and names of who owns leases near you in your section.  Since Colorado recognizes “split estates”, the owner of the minerals, hence the lease holder, may not be the same as the surface owner.
Your deed will also have the exact location of your property, which this site does not give you.  Each mile Section is divided into 4 quarters, NE SE NW SW and then each of these quarters is divided into 4 quarters of the same description.  So you will see maybe that your property in the NE section of the SW quarter.  It sounds complicated, but if you draw the quarters out on paper, it’s not so confusing. 

We hope you find this interesting and the information will help you stay abreast of drilling trends here in Huerfano County.