We applaud a recent settlement that means Noble Energy will pay one of the heftiest state fines ever for air quality violations.
We like where the money will go most of all.
Noble agreed to pay almost $5 million in fines and spend another $8.5 million on environmental mitigations. If you believe the Environmental Protection Agency, Noble agreed to spend $60 million on upgrades to reduce emissions. Noble disputes that number.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the reason for the fine, Noble will spend a lot of money to make improvements that should not only benefit the company but all of us as well.
We want clean air, and we’re pretty sure Noble wants it as well. It’s nice that Noble’s punishment means improving its equipment to achieve that important goal.
We realize that $5 million is a fine, but we’re OK with that, too. It should send a message that other violations won’t be tolerated. Our area continues to struggle with ozone, a health hazard that haunts people with respiratory problems, and design issues that allow compounds that lead to it to pollute our air are a problem with many of our drillers, not just Noble.
We hope this will spur other companies to monitor emissions even more closely and make any upgrades to stop them, regardless of the cost. Many believe that the oil and gas production is responsible for more than half of the ozone in the state. We need to keep after it.
In fact, we’re a little disappointed that it took this kind of action for Noble to upgrade its equipment. Noble is one of the top two drillers in the state.
We like the way this turned out. Ultimately, the upgrades should cut down on emissions, and that benefits everyone. But we also hope in that, as one of our biggest producers, Noble tries to set an example, rather than be one.
This article was from Greeley Tribune, Colo. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.