Climate + Energy

Colorado Communities, Clean Water at Risk From Oil and Gas Industry Spills


Check out our latest story mapping project detailing oil and gas industry spills and other incidents reported in Colorado from 2015 to the present.

These maps tell the disturbing tale of how disasters regularly befall the oil and gas industry in Colorado. In 2017 alone, which saw a 17% increase in reported spills, nearly two incidents were reported on average every single day of the year. And so far in 2018, more than 230 spills have been reported.

This data just underscores how dangerous the oil and gas industry is to our health and welfare. It also squarely undercuts industry’s claim that it’s operations are somehow clean or safe.

It’s critical to highlight that every single one of these incidents is not allowed under state or federal law. Sadly, though, these illegal release seem to be the norm, rather than the exception. No other industry has such a horrid track record of constantly endangering our environment.

As we say, “The fact that companies persistently pollute to the point that nearly two spills are reported every single day in Colorado¬†represents an industry that has no regard for our health and safety.”

What’s more disturbing is that many of these spills were reported to have impacted ground or surface water. In fact, in 2017 and so far in 2018, a water-impacting spill was reported nearly every three and a half days. Click on the map below to see more.

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 3.16.33 PM

It’s this kind of data that really drives home why WildEarth Guardians is fighting to keep our fossil fuels in the ground. In addition to the disastrous impacts of climate change, oil and gas is also contaminating our waters, endangering our health, and dirtying this state.

There’s simply no need to condone this kind of reckless energy development, especially when we have safer, cleaner, and increasingly more affordable options for fueling our nation.

Scroll through the maps and learn more about where these spills are happening, the companies behind them, and what’s at stake for Colorado communities.

And if you’re interested, all this data is maintained by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, check out their website if you’d like more details and more info. regarding the impacts of oil and gas development in Colorado.