In the Denver-Julesberg (DJ) Basin area of Colorado we support our communities primarily through contributions and employee volunteer efforts focused on environment, health, education and overall community betterment. In 2015, we also participated in efforts to promote responsible energy development that meets the needs of local communities.
We brought our technical expertise to the oil and natural gas task force convened in 2014 by Governor John Hickenlooper to help the industry and local governments work together on developing constructive solutions to land use that balance stakeholders’ priorities. In May 2015, the task force submitted its proposals for review by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The two major regulatory recommendations were:
- A rulemaking process that will facilitate earlier and far greater collaboration among local governments and well operators concerning the placement of oil and gas locations as well as other scale, intensity or proximity issues.
- A rulemaking process for operators to share their plans early enough for municipal governments to incorporate oil and gas development into their comprehensive development planning, with the intended purpose that this increased transparency will lead to fewer conflicts.
Other recommendations called for new studies regarding public health and the impact of truck traffic, a public information clearinghouse, and increased resources for air monitoring and other regulatory enforcement.
Following a comment period and public hearings, the two rulemaking recommendations were adopted by the commission in February 2016.
Noble Energy also works closely with the local governments where we operate. We meet regularly with the Weld County Commission and officials in several small towns to discuss Noble Energy’s plans and to review operational issues. These discussions have resulted in outcomes such as a road maintenance agreement near the town of New Raymer where Noble Energy helps the County maintain a critical road that serves both the industry and farmers and ranchers in the area.
In the DJ Basin, many of our local community activities focus on the environment.
- Our CNG School Bus Investment Initiative has contributed nearly $3.1 million toward new vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG)—and encouraged funding more than twice that amount by our program partners, which include the Regional Air Quality Council, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Upper Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization and local school districts. To date, the initiative has provided 29 new school buses in Weld, Adams and Denver counties as well as a CNG truck and new CNG school bus maintenance facility with a CNG fueling station in Weld County.
- We sponsored one of the stations (at 16th & Broadway) for Denver B-cycle, the city’s shared bicycle system. Individuals can check out a B-cycle from any B-station, and return it to any other B-station or make a round-trip to the same one. Noble Energy employees actively participate in this program.
We support community health efforts throughout the DJ Basin, and especially in Greeley and Weld County, where our operations are based. Key activities in 2015 included:
- Noble Energy helped the Weld Food Bank purchase a new 12-pallet truck with a compressed natural gas engine. The larger truck, using lower-cost clean fuel, serves all 4,000 square miles of Weld County and during harvest season allows the food bank to pick up and share greater quantities of fresh produce and dairy products with its partner food banks in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Our employees also supported Weld Food Bank by donating nearly 200 hours of volunteer time to mobile food pantry distribution efforts.
- Noble Energy is a major contributor to the North Colorado Medical Center, based in Greeley, where our donations to the Burn Center, Cardiac Unit and Cancer Center have helped that institution deliver high quality specialized healthcare for northern Colorado residents. This is the facility that serves our DJ Basin workforce if critical care is needed.
- We participated in Weld County’s Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS). Our team, the “Noble Cancer Crushers,” held a pancake breakfast and other events, raising more than $6,600 for the event, the largest ACS Relay for Life event in Colorado.
- Greeley employees helped Weld County letter carriers collect more than 28,000 pounds of food to benefit the Weld Food Bank. As part of the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive in May, our volunteers staffed a mobile collection site in west Greeley as postal workers dropped off what they collected on their route. Volunteers headed to the main post office to help unload the postal trucks as they came in for the day.
We support educational and workforce development efforts in Colorado, including Denver and Greeley. Highlights in 2015:
- In Greeley, Noble Energy donated to the G-Town Promise, a community-based effort to leverage public resources to fill gaps in the public education system. One critical part is a series of specialized education programs, such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs, that offer organized curriculum across schools and higher education institutions in Greeley. The G-Town Promise helps provide free public transportation so students can take advantage of these classes in different locations, and partners with local companies to provide internships for enrolled students. G-Town also offers scholarships and leadership programs for enrolled students.
- We partnered with the Denver Broncos and Denver Public Schools (DPS) Foundation to donate $1,000 for each trip the Broncos made to the red zone in home games during the 2014–2015 season. In April, we presented a $40,000 check to the DPS Foundation. The donation will fund teacher and classroom grants, STEM programs and more for 186 schools in the Denver Public School system. The partnership was renewed for the 2015–2016 season.
Red Zone Donation
- We donated funds to Salida del Sol Academy, a dual-language immersion elementary school in Greeley, for start-up costs. The public charter school’s dual-language curriculum allows both native English speakers and non-native speakers to learn a second language side-by-side.
- We partnered with the Hispanic Chamber Education Foundation in Denver to support the Aspiring Leaders Development Program. This six-month, culturally relevant program delivers training and insight for mid-level career individuals interested in enhancing their leadership skills and becoming more effective leaders.
- More than 16 teams and 80 employees from Denver and Greeley participated in the annual Junior Achievement Bowl-a-Thon. Including the 2:1 corporate match from NobleACTS, employees raised approximately $35,300 to help Junior Achievement reach its $1 million goal to expand its programs that foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills.
We also sponsored a number of activities in the Denver and Greeley areas that enhance community life. Some examples:
- Noble Energy has been a top supporter of the Tennyson Center for Children in Denver for many years. Our partnership with this organization, including both financial support and volunteer efforts, helps the Center provide education, housing and counseling services for children who are victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment. In 2015, our employees participated in a backpack and coat drive and helped build a playground.
- In June and July, we served as a title sponsor for the historic Greeley Stampede Rodeo and Independence Day parade. The rodeo annually attracts 250,000 rodeo fans, concert goers and western revelers. We used the opportunity to engage with the community on oil and gas production at the Noble Energy trailer on “Noble Energy Day” and to honor community heroes on “First Responders Day.” We also participated in the annual Fourth of July parade; our entry included the Weld Food Bank’s compressed natural gas (CNG) food truck, a Noble float with several employees onboard and one of the Noble-sponsored CNG school buses.
Greeley Stampede Rodeo and Independence Day parade