On Feb. 19, some 70 elected officials from various Colorado counties and municipalities signed a letter obviously penned by some PR hack from the oil and gas industry (it reeks like a typical Colorado Oil and Gas Association ploy, but who knows). The letter is a big thank you to our governor/gas-industry pitchman John Hickenlooper for his willingness to sue the city of Longmont for having the audacity to try to create safer drilling regulations that would better maintain the city’s quality of life and protect human health.
The letter states that “if left unchallenged [Longmont’s new oil and gas regulations] open the floodgates for other additional regulatory responses ... and would discourage future investment in energy development in Colorado.”
In other words, sue them fast, Mr. Governor, before other citizens start believing that they, too, have a right to self-determination as opposed to being required by the state to do what the oil companies want, no matter how destructive or dangerous.
It must feel like quite a threat to these little bureaucrats with cow patties for brains who signed this letter, to think that people might start believing that their governments are supposed to be doing what they want instead of doing the bidding of the oil and gas dick who bought their last round of golf.
But here’s the real punchline: The elected officials who signed the letter all come from areas that have already been drilled to hell. These are actually the morons in charge of all those places like Weld County, Firestone, Brighton, Parachute, Rangely, Yuma and Mesa County, places where you have to roll up your windows and lock your doors when you drive through because they smell like ass, and the locals, after years of economic, educational, environmental and democratic degradation, look like they just stepped out of the movie Deliverance (think banjo player).
Hickenlooper must be really proud that he is being praised by a bunch of local politicians from places that think that having a prison located nearby and a gas well on the front lawn of the elementary school is a sign of prestige. These ignorant letter signers represent the communities least likely to ever be featured in a Colorado tourism ad, and yet they have the yarbles to want to see Longmont get sued by the state for its effort to try to not become another oil and gas armpit like them.
The disingenuous men and women who allowed the industry to prod them into putting their John Hancock on this silly letter of support claim that if Longmont doesn’t allow drilling in its neighborhoods, the oil and gas industry will become confused and leave our state.
Honestly, this oft-repeated hollow threat by the industry and its lackeys is the equivalent of Cleavon Little (Sheriff Bart) holding the gun to his own head in Mel Brook’s film Blazing Saddles and threatening to shoot the N-word. And Hickenlooper and these letter signers are the movie town’s mayor saying, “Get back, I think he means it.”
If the oil and gas industry isn’t willing to abide by local regulations designed to protect health, quality of life and property values in exchange for the billions of dollars in profit they can make off of our natural resources, then we say, “Don’t let the state of Colorado’s door hit you in the ass on your way out.”