What is your view on potential oil and gas development in Craig and Moffat County?

I completely support it 196 votes


I completely oppose it 13 votes


I am cautiously optimistic it will improve the economy 43 votes


I believe development needs to be closely regulated 63 votes


Undecided 6 votes


321 total votes


Reaver 5 years, 8 months ago

Can anybody offer an objective view of the pros and cons? Would it be hard for the economy of Craig to stay alive without this?


Jon Pfeifer 5 years, 8 months ago

I'll do my best, and the answer to your question as to whether the economy of Craig can "stay alive" without this is yes, depending on policies regarding coal mining in the state and nation:

Pros: Additional employment opportunities, high-paying jobs, more people in town with good paying salaries, more business for local stores, royalties to government, private land owners, and others who own mineral rights, potentially lower taxes or increased services given those revenues, more private services to meet increased demand, growth (depending on your point of view).

Cons: Risks of environmental damages, including possible contamination of water, soil, etc..., changes in demographics to area, increased demand for government services (schools, roads, police, etc...), aesthetic damages (see, e.g., road from Dinosaur to Rangely), boom/bust if wells go dry, growth (depending on your point of view).

Craig has not grown (or shrunk) meaningfully for approximately 30 years. Two coal mines and the power plant keep the city going, along with its proximity to Steamboat and relatively cheaper housing prices. Coal mining has been under attack in Colorado and to some extent nationally. However, the plants in Craig and Hayden are not ones that are going to be shut down and therefore the demand for coal locally will continue.

I see the oil and gas industry as another potential boom/bust cycle in Craig's history, as it won't really create a large amount of long-term jobs unless a refinery or something comes with it (which is very unlikely). Is that worth the risks of environmental damages? I think so, but others will disagree.


onewhocares 5 years, 8 months ago

I really like your post SmallTowner and agree with most of what you said, with the exception of, the risks to the environment. I can not stress enough for everyone to do their own research (on the internet, in magazines, documentaries, etc) to learn not only about the extremely toxic chemicals pumped into the earth with natural gas drilling, making its way into the water, but also learn about all the farms and ranches destroyed by the pollution caused by the rigs destroying their way of life. The money may be great to most initially, but once the sicknesses begin, to self, family members, the neighbors, the livestock and wildlife, the positives will disappear really quickly and then you'll ask yourselves how you could have been sooooo blindsided by the politicians and by your own greed. It's one thing to drill miles and miles away from people, it's quite another to drill feet away from homes, schools and businesses essentially compromising the health and life of your loved ones, for a fancy car or truck or a vacation. You are truly selling out your soul by destroying your land and making others very sick so you can be comfortable. Brutal, but totally true.


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