Craig To the editor:
It is good to hear our local government is working so hard behind the scenes.
However, we have to make our voices heard, too. The Web site for the Oil and Gas Commission is filled with environmentalist opinions. We need to make some noise to back up their efforts.
I do not represent anyone other than myself, nor do I work in the oil industry, so please listen to my story and heed my warning.
I lived in Washington state during the Spotted Owl timber shut downs and it devastated the state's economy. Later, I was living in the isolated town of Escalate, in southern Utah.
Robert Redford talked Bill Clinton into making it a national monument, shutting down its underground coal projects and taking grazing and hunting rights from people. These are people who needed both.
Give an environmentalist an inch and they will take half the state. The half that has the least amount of votes in it will do nicely.
If political appointees get to hold the oil companies hostage from behind a desk, we will all pay the price. Ranchers and other property owners will eventually lose rights and immediately have to make up the lost tax revenue.
If an oil company can drill year round in Montana why would they bother with Colorado? After all, dragons fetch the same price no matter which side of a line you pull them from and sell them on. One of the new regulations is a "90 day black out stack out" period for sage hens to do their "come and get me" dance.
Sounds reasonable on the surface, but it's not. The predators in the area are what really impact their population. Sage hens have disappeared in areas because of predator explosions, not drilling rigs.
Predators don't take 90 days off, either. Spotlight in their area for coyotes at night and the dancing chickens will make a giant comeback.
Sadly, this is about political power, or rather as it's being sold to us as just "potential political power."
Sooner or later, people with power always exercise its full potential, that's why they seek it. If the commission is telling the truth, and they rarely, if ever, plan to use this regulation, then they won't mind dropping it for now, and looking into it later if needed.
Let me quote Luke Schafer:
"We are trying to come to a point were wildlife, public health and the industry can all thrive together, and I think we can get there together."
Excuse me, we're not doing that now? What have our local officials failed in? None, wildlife could care less about a man at work. Us poor, bitter folks are protecting the environment just fine on our own.
The Oil and Gas Commission can be reached at (303) 894-2100, Gov. Ritter at (303) 866-2471, Deputy of Policy at (303) 866-5800, and Ken Salazar at (970) 241-6631. Also, look at the Web site www.oil-gas.state.co.us/RuleMaking.
Patrick Wayne Germond