News Flash

County News

Posted on: January 31, 2020

Commissioner Update

RBC Website_Commissioners Update-01

Commissioner Moyer attended the Club 20/Action 22/Pro 15 Voices of Rural Colorado Joint Legislative Visit last week in Denver.  The agenda included many presentations from various organizations and many of the current Polis Administration’s Department leaders.

Cathy Ritter, Director of the Colorado Tourism Office and Betsy Markey, Director of the Office of Economic Development spoke about their departments’ new programs and initiatives.  Moyer was disappointed in both presentations and the direction that the state is headed.  He’s afraid that the blatant anti-fossil fuel messaging as well as the push away from Colorado’s traditional values coming from many departments at the state level will be nothing but damaging to many rural Colorado communities.

Moyer listened to a panel regarding Proposition DD as they discussed implementation of the funds made available by this proposition and the need for water storage. He heard from the Department of Agriculture Director, Kate Greenberg and was able to ask her what she steps she is taking to advocate for the agriculture community on the wolf issue.  Moyer shared that Ms. Greenberg simply stated that she’s ‘looking into it.”

During the conference, Moyer was also able to share his concerns regarding the Wolf Creek Reservoir project to Attorney General Phil Weiser.  He expressed the need for the state to follow existing prior appropriations doctrine, that it’s in the constitution and needs to be abided by.  Moyer reminded the attorney general that the right to put water to beneficial use is a private property right shouldn’t be infringed upon.  Moyer brought up his disappointment that the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District has to spend funds on litigation against our own state in our efforts to create water storage rather than on building the reservoir, particularly in light of the fact that the Colorado State Water Plan recognizes the need for additional water storage to meet compact compliance.

There was a panel on TABOR, a presentation from the Director of CDOT and a reception at the Governor’s Mansion in which he heard remarks from Governor Jared Polis.

Moyer left the conference with an overall feeling of frustration with what’s happening at the state level.

Commissioner Rector has been busy with several projects as well, one of them being the trip to Denver with the Northwest Colorado Air & Space Coalition to explore potential opportunities for CNCC/NW Colorado. He feels that there are some good opportunities and partnerships that could come from the visit.

Rector recently learned that the BLM renewed the MOU between the BLM/USFS and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regarding state regulation of oil and gas development on federal lands.  This agreement had expired in the summer of 2019 and that fact was looking like a potential positive thing for NW Colorado. Commissioner Rector had a conversation with William Perry Pendley, current BLM director, about this issue a few weeks ago and was assured at that time that the BLM wouldn’t be signing the renewal.  Rector expressed his disappointment that they did in fact, move forward with renewing the MOU.

Commissioner Rector is also working with the Economic Development Department and representatives from Moffat County to draft a bill proposal regarding the state’s push of the Vibrant Clean Energy Plan.  The proposed legislation will help to ensure some money comes back to the communities within the state that are negatively affected by the push to transition to renewable energy.

Commissioner Si Woodruff has been on vacation but will be returning to chilly Rio Blanco County this week!

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