Oil and gas group tries canvassing

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association is going grass-roots, or at least trying to.

Employing a tactic commonly employed by anti-fracturing forces, COGA is going door-to-door with a new flyer aimed at attracting support.

The big bullet points in the flyer point out that 300 oil and gas companies support 107,000 Colorado jobs and provide more than $31 billion to the state’s economy.

That figure includes, the flyer says, significant local revenue from severance and property taxes to fund schools, roads, and special projects.

The flyer warns that over-regulating oil and gas will push the industry and its jobs to “neighboring states with consistent regulation.”

That would mean the “potential loss of millions of dollars in city and state revenues from severance and property taxes,” the flyer says.

And, it adds, local businesses would be deprived of hundreds of possible new customers, should oil and gas be forced to move away.

There’s a call to action in the flyer, too, inviting recipients to “join the coalition” supporting oil and gas development.

Recipients also are asked to sign a supportive letter, attend a public hearing to speak in favor of oil and gas, and sign a letter to the editor to the same effect.

“We may need regulations, but they should not exceed those set by the state,” the letter says.

That, by the way, is how 56.3 percent of the Business Report’s readers feel, too, at least those who responded to a recent online poll on this question.

Tisha Schuller, president and CEO of COGA, said the campaign, while new in the Fort Collins area, has received positive feedback in other parts of the state.

“While there are other door-knocking efforts currently being used by activists in Fort Collins, we are focused on providing educational materials to give individuals the opportunity to engage in the energy conversation in a fact-based manner,” she said in a statement.

Kaiser in its sights

University of Colorado Health’s newest marketing campaign urges people to “learn the facts about closed insurance networks.”

The message, it appears, takes aim at Kaiser Permanente, which officially opened its clinics in Fort Collins and Loveland earlier this month and which treats just Kaiser members.

Ahead of the opening, Kaiser launched its own campaign, emphasizing the fact that Kaiser clinics are now local.

Kaiser also has partnered with Banner Health in Northern Colorado, meaning that Kaiser members will be able to visit Banner clinics in addition to Kaiser’s, and that Kaiser policyholders can visit North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley or McKee Medical Center in Loveland for hospital care.

At the same time, this means that Kaiser members’ care will not be covered at UCHealth facilities, including Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins or Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, except for emergency room care.

Physicians aligned with UCHealth have expressed concern that Northern Colorado residents may not be completely aware of the fact that being a Kaiser member means that they may have to change hospitals.

The new campaign essentially underscores that point.

UCHealth’s ads urge residents to learn about what changes might be headed their way and includes links to its website, where, among other points, the company talks about how, in the past five years, UC Health has given an average of $3.4 million per year in Northern Colorado for community health and improvement services.

Kaiser, on the other hand, maintains that it has always been local in Northern Colorado, with 6,000 members in the area before it decided to open clinics here.

Earlier this week, Banner announced that it has submitted plans to the City of Fort Collins for a medical campus in the southeast part of town. Banner did not give specifics about what might come out of the plans.

Hush, doggy, hush!

Is your dog’s barking keeping you and the neighbors up at night?

Well, perhaps CSU can help.

According to a new study by Lori Kogan, an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, dogs in animal shelters are less likely to bark and more likely to sleep to classical music than heavy metal, music specially formulated for animals, or no music.

Kogan, who is a licensed psychologist, played different music at a shelter over the course of four months while recording dogs’ behaviors.

Music selections were played for 45 minutes with behavioral observations recorded every five minutes. Each music selection was followed by a period of silence, resulting in thousands of behavioral recordings.

Kogan’s study suggests that heavy metal induces more nervous shaking in dogs. Playing classical music appeared to calm dogs more than other music selections or no music at all, according to her study, which appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.

This all seems a bit intuitive, but it’s nice to have scientific proof.

The only remaining question: which idiot at which shelter was playing Iron Maiden at all hours of the night?

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