Debate over oil and gas drilling in Adams County

Posted at 12:29 AM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 02:29:56-05

The future of oil and gas drilling is up for debate in Adams County. Residents expressed their concerns about proposed drilling sites near schools and their houses.

Commissioners held a forum to gather input and adapt to changes in the community. There was a big turnout, forcing the county to open up overflow seating in another room.

Adams County officials say six sites are fully approved and six more are seeking state and/or local approval.
Some of the biggest questions surround sites that are not yet approved. One of those proposed locations is near Horizon High School. The district leased mineral rights under that high school in addition to Century Middle School.

Longtime resident Mark Gormley worries about his two kids, one attends Horizon.

“I worry tremendously because both of their schools are very close to what are anticipated fracking sites,” said Mark Gormley, a resident who lives near a proposed site.

Oil and gas leaders downplayed their concerns. The CEO of a hydraulic fracturing company told Denver7 he would send his kids to those schools.

“There’s been a lot of fear stoked that get residents overly concerned, there are legitimate concerns absolutely there’s trucks there’s noise like any activity, building a Starbucks or any other thing humans do,” said Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Oil Field Services and Liberty Resources.