Will Colorado’s Oil and Gas Commission coddle an industry, or protect our air, water and wildlife for when the boom goes bust?
On Monday, I waited for two hours to put in my two cents before the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission. I spoke in support of their efforts to adopt modest proposals to protect air, water, wildlife, and communities from the coming 22,000+ oil wells slated to be drilled here in the coming two decades.
In line just ahead of me, a young man told a compelling story. He grew up in Trinidad, Colorado, a small town a dozen miles north of the New Mexico border. When coal mines in the area went bust, he said, life in Trinidad got hard. A natural gas boom in the last decade had breathed new life into the area, and gave him a good paying job. He worried that the Commission’s proposed rules would drive the gas industry out and turn Trinidad into a “ghost town.”
Turning Trinidad into a ghost town is no one’s favored outcome. But this man’s story is not the whole story for several reasons.