Editorial: Colorado agencies should hold meetings where they matter

The Denver Post: It is sometimes said that there is a fine line between genius and madness. A similar observation can be made about well-intentioned programs when they come up sorely lacking in effectiveness.

A pair of Colorado agencies — which oversee oil and gas, and management of state parks and wildlife — are facing heat for holding hearings far from the communities that wish to weigh in. Regulators at the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission and Colorado Parks and Wildlife ought to rethink and revise a practice meant to create greater transparency and convenience for residents so that it actually accomplishes those laudable goals.

Residents and city officials in Broomfield wish to participate in COGCC hearings regarding spacing applications from Extraction Oil and Gas. But the commission has scheduled the mid-September hearings in Durango, which is roughly 350 miles away.

Holding the hearings in Durango isn’t necessarily a nefarious plot. The commission has for some time sought to bolster transparency and accountability by holding hearings around the state. The rationale is sound and praiseworthy. Instead of making the trip and thereby making residents from the far reaches of the state drive all the way to the Mile High City to attend hearings on matters important to their communities, the COGCC holds some hearings in diverse pockets of the state.

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