A new set of fossil fuel drilling rules established by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was debated and informally voted on by the Colorado State House of Representatives yesterday. HB09-1292 will need to be voted on by the full House before moving to the Senate.
This news was triggered into my memory this morning by a news report on the radio that a number of drillers were at the state Capitol yesterday urging postponement of the new rules’ passage. I wrote recently that Con leaders are quite purposefully framing the issue as costing drilling areas jobs. As usual, the Cons are pulling a job on those workers and the rest of the public. Drilling jobs are being lost because our economy is in free-fall – set up through a long period of Con economic policies being in place. If those workers are upset about their jobs being cut (justifiably so, btw), they need to petition those who really are responsible: their former employers. Drilling corporations aren’t slashing jobs because of a piece of legislation being debated in CO’s legislature. That’s absurd. But those corporations, and their elected official lackeys like Sen. Shawn Mitchell, Sen. Balmer, and Rep. Gardner have successfully deflected all that righteous anger at an unpassed set of rules.
The truth is the fossil fuel drilling industry is scared of losing their stranglehold on uncontrolled drilling. They haven’t been faced with working with others before this and like other Cons are terrified of progress and inclusion. For the first time, environmental concerns will also be brought to the attention of regulators. The tourism industry in Colorado consistently brings in more money to the state than do drilling operations. That industry has been negatively impacted by drilling activity but hasn’t had an equal seat at the table to determine where and how drilling should occur.
Two relevant quotes can be found in the article:
“Everybody can co-exist,” he [Keith Goddard of Rifle] said. “But the oil and gas companies have been able to do whatever they please. And the wildlife takes a back seat to it.”
“We’re seeing major issues with all the businesses, not just the ones directly involved with oil and gas,” [Rob] Cose said. “You have cafes that are struggling because people aren’t spending money.”
Reasonable people can see the validity of such statements. Ideologues like Mitchell and others only want to inflame people – not help solve their problems.
Cross-posted at SquareState.