Ben: I’m Ben Tipton
Sharyn: I’m Sharon Tipton. We live in Battlement Mesa, Colorado.
Ben: We’ve been here in Battlement Mesa for three years. About a year into living in our new home we discovered a company was planning on putting gas wells in our planned unit development (PUD).

Living in this PUD means we have to comply with all of these covenants to ensure the community looks good, but an oil and gas company can just put a well 500 feet from someone’s house. We found this to be completely wrong and decided to start checking into it some more and getting behind the fight to stop it.

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“I’m retired from water and wastewater treatment operations here in Colorado. I like to tell people about all the training and the testing and the supervision through the state and EPA we have to go through in order to work in water and wastewater treatment facilities. Oil companies don’t seem to have to be as safe as we were in dealing with their water treatment and wastewater.

For example, recently the oil company developing in our area announced plans to put an injection well within 500 feet of Battlement Mesa’s water treatment intake. I mean, they use these wells to inject oil and gas wastewater and chemicals into the ground. And to put that near our water treatment facility, that just doesn’t make any sense.”

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Ben: I never thought about oil and gas in the past because the development never really affected me. I grew up in California and remember driving through LA and seeing oil wells near houses and thinking that that cannot be good. Being a conservative most of my life, I always thought oil and gas development was a good thing. But, honestly it wasn’t until it was in my backyard that I really became aware of the problems associated with oil and gas.

Sharyn: Before we moved to Battlement Mesa we lived up between Newcastle and in Glenwood Springs in the Canyon Creek area. When we lived in the Canyon Creek area we heard about people being impacted by oil and gas on television. There would be news stories talking about people having to test their water and people seeing their faucets lighting on fire. I always thought well that’s just terrible, but at the same time I thought I’m sure the government will do something about that to help those people. And now that we are living with oil and gas, it is clear that the government doesn’t do much to protect the people from the impacts.

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“The company says that there is no way the injection well will cause any kind of contamination. These injection wells are lined with what they say is “unbreakable” concrete. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen plenty of sidewalks and driveways all over the place with cracks. It’s pretty simple in my mind, concrete breaks eventually, so there is no way to guarantee there won’t be some sort of contamination at some point in the life of an injection well.”

Ben: We have been working with Battlement Concerned Citizens, Western Colorado Congress, and Grand Valley Citizens Alliance.

Sharyn: They have helped our neighbors and us out with a lot the investigating and organizing that is needed to fight back against this type of development.
Ben: To me it is time to fight for West Slope of Colorado. There is already a ton of oil and gas that is already here, and the state is having trouble making sure the current wells aren’t damaging the West Slope. I think we need to be able to deal with the current development before industry can start drilling a bunch wells on the West Slope, especially wells near homes.

-Ben and Sharyn Tipton
Battlement Mesa, CO



-Ben and Sharyn Tipton
Battlement Mesa, CO