Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today in response to a letter from Rep. Cory Gardner and other members of the General Assembly regarding natural-resources legislation:
"My administration has made every effort to listen to the concerns of the energy and resource-development industry. We understand how important this industry is to our economy and the value it brings to our state. Our intent is to balance the extraction of resources with the concerns the people of this state have expressed surrounding impacts to our water, air and land.
"Over the past five years, members of the public have lodged more than 1,500 complaints with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conversation Commission regarding those impacts.  
"By end of this year, the state will likely grant more than 6,000 new drilling permits, a doubling from just a few years ago. We will have received more than 33,000 permit applications. Colorado is in the midst of one of the largest energy-development cycles in decades, probably ever, and we must do all we can to protect the public's health and our environment.
"Harris Sherman, the executive director of the Department of Natural Resources, and other members of my administration have spent more than 30 hours in stakeholder meetings with the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, the Colorado Petroleum Association and others interested parties regarding HB1341. We have spent twice that amount of time on the phone gathering input from and listening to stakeholders.
"We look forward to continuing this productive dialogue as the legislative process moves forward."