Eric Ewing once described his family's two acre plot on the rural Northern Colorado plains as heaven on earth. Now however, Ewing's household is surrounded by the unmistakable signs of oil and gas production - a large new processing facility, clusters of wells and tanks, even a recently drilled well 650 feet from his home.
"It feels like I live in a factory now," he said.
Ewing's concerns about noise, air pollution and quality of life impacts are exactly what Governor Hickenlooper's Oil and Gas Task Force is trying to appease. The group was created as part of a deal to avoid a handful of competing oil and gas ballot measures. But, time is running out for the group to submit policy recommendations.
Ward Boydstun misses his teeth. The 27-year-old left his dentures at the Bradley Petroleum gas station when he was escorted out in handcuffs. The company had paid for the new set of teeth for the former "manager of the month" when years of poor dental care left him with none.
It's crunch time for the Governor's Oil and Gas Task Force to craft recommendations on how to best minimize conflict between local and state government when it comes to the state's energy development. The group held their fifth meeting in Greeley to discuss a path forward.
Front and center are conflicts over drilling in more urban areas made possible by technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Colorado is known worldwide for incredible skiing on its magnificent mountains… but the resort experience also comes with long lines and uber-expensive lift tickets. Back in the 1970s you could have simply headed to Greeley.
Instead of dodging moguls, you could have been dodging tumbleweeds at Sharktooth Ski Area – located on the plains east of the Rockies, perched atop a 150-foot bluff overlooking the Poudre River.
The recent global downturn in oil prices is impacting companies who drill in Colorado. In a BizWest report published Friday, reporter Steve Lynn found that Denver-based PDC Energy Inc. has seen some of the steepest declines. Other companies have seen stock prices decline by nearly half the value following highs seen during the summer of 2014.
"The downturn in oil prices comes as oil producers plan to announce their capital spending plans for 2015, and some analysts believe those budgets could see cuts," Lynn said.