On Jan. 5 I attended a meeting in Crawford with the impression that the pros and cons of a proposed gas lease would be discussed giving people in attendance information to make an informed decision as to the merits of proceeding with either support or opposition to the leasing program. Nothing could be further from the truth — this meeting was for the sole purpose of rallying support in opposition of any leasing program.
I believe everyone has a right to their opinion on any issue up for debate, but in this case I don't feel this forum led to an objective understanding of the process.
I'm sure everyone in attendance has electricity for lights and uses gas for cooking, heat, or hot water. I'm also sure no one at this meeting is willing to give up what most of us now call basic necessities.
So why are we so opposed to gas drilling in our backyard? Whose back yard is it OK in? Anybody's but ours? What gives us the right to utilize everything that gas, electricity, and oil provide as long as it is manufactured somewhere else, in someone else's back yard.
There are volumes upon volumes of federal regulations controlling the development of energy resources in this country. In fact, these regulations are completely stifling growth and jobs. And yet we sit here and say the volumes of regulations controlling energy development are not enough and therefore we don't want it here, yet we continue to use it? This defines hypocrisy.
You may not buy into what I've said but the papers do. A recent front page article in the Grand Junction Sentinel shows Western Slope income, over the past 10 years, has been driven up by the energy industry. Another article talks about the new fracing rules in Colorado making them the toughest in the nation.
Development of our basic industries whether it is gas, coal, oil, or timber is important for all of us, because we all rely on it. They are basic necessities. With the mountain of federal regulation in place and the overwhelming process involved to develop new energy we should all feel comfortable that it can be done in a safe and responsible manner.
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