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Hickenlooper’s First Energy Stance = Con-Lite

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Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, now running to be the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, made his intentions regarding drilling on Colorado’s West Slope known about a week ago.  His statement doesn’t spark any confidence that he’ll deliver messages in ways that voters will respond.  In fact, it’s an early signal that the message Massachusetts voters sent have yet to be heard in this part of the country (timing of the two events notwithstanding).  If Hick wants to be the next Governor of Colorado, he has a steep learning curve ahead of him.

The Durango Herald reported:

The newly minted Democratic candidate for governor thinks Gov. Bill Ritter’s environmental rules for the natural-gas industry are “excessive.”

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper told reporters Friday he doesn’t support all of the rules adopted in 2008 by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

“I think the biggest problem wasn’t necessarily where we ended up with the rules. It was how we got there,” said Hickenlooper, who announced Thursday he is running to replace Ritter.

As someone who followed the rules developed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission throughout the two-year period they were being considered (The last few times I wrote about the rules can be found here, here, here and here), I have to say I would be very interested to know exactly which rules Mayor Hickenlooper doesn’t agree with and why he doesn’t agree with them.  While he’s at it, he should divulge what his solutions to those problems would be.  More than that, though, I have to say that to question the process by his Democratic predecessor is reckless and will not serve him well if he’s elected.

What reason could Mayor Hickenlooper have to enter into a fray that, quite frankly, should have largely ended a year ago when Gov. Ritter signed the rules into law?  Is it to distance himself from a not-so-popular Gov. Ritter?  Is it to distinguish himself from his potential Con opponent, Scott “McLobbyist” Mcinnis?  How has that worked out so far?

Sean Duffy, a spokesman for Republican front-runner Scott McInnis, questioned Hickenlooper’s commitment to the gas industry and asked where the mayor was during the debate over the rules in 2008.

Oh.  Is anyone surprised that McLobbyist slammed Hickenlooper for trying to be the Con-Lite candidate in the race?

The rules are the rules now.  Perhaps the process could have been different.  But Hickenlooper had better realize that increasing numbers of West Slope residents are, in fact, in support of the rules.  If it’s a question of a few drilling jobs or clean drinking water for your children, most Coloradans will choose to keep their family safe.  Let McLobbyist represent the dirty energy industry, Hick.  He’s clearly amoral about protecting communities from careless corporations that are happy to drill, drill, drill anywhere they can.  Moreover, none of the sky-is-falling predictions from the Cons have come true: none of the drilling companies have left the state due to the new rules.

I know it sounds obvious, but running for Governor of Colorado won’t be like running for Mayor of Denver.  Dick “Name-calling” Wadhams will twist every public comment you make into something to attack you, defining you every step of the way.  There’s plenty of juicy material to keep Dick and McLobbyist on the defensive.  Concentrate on those items while you’re running the race and keep comments about how Ritter did things out of the news until after you’ve been elected.

Cross-posted at SquareState and DailyKos.

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