The most important takeaway from Governor Hickenlooper's 2016 tease with Politico this morning wasn't that a first year Governor was getting such treatment, but how much Hick reveled in being hated by environmental wackos on the left. Considering the previous Governor, Bill Ritter, was the environmentalists' green errand boy, it's amazing how far they've fallen out of favor with Colorado's newest CEO. It didn't even take a change of parties in control for them to become a favored target of disdain and derision.
Hick's enjoyment of enviro hate was so dominant to the reporter that it made the piece's lede:
A popular Democratic swing-state governor who brags unprompted about annoying a key liberal constituency and has a background as a small business owner might have a run for national office in his future. [Peak emphasis]
Hick bases his sense of environmentalist furor towards him primarily on his strong support for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is a drilling process that has unlocked massive new amounts of oil and natural gas in Colorado and across the country. Environmentalists have been on the war path, using stooges like Denver Congresswoman Diana DeGette to try to ban the process.
Hick's most notable pro-fracking/anti-enviro moment was his recent statement that it's "inconceivable" that fracking causes groundwater contamination. With a background as a petroleum geologist Hick is well aware of the BS propaganda peddled by the enviro left.
Not only does Hick know his pro-fracking and generally pro-business leanings will infuriate a key constituency on the left, but he seems to enjoy that fact too.
Take this quote from the piece:
“What we’re trying to do here necessarily, I think, is going to irritate and I think in some ways divide some of the strongest constituencies that are going to be making those decisions.”
How often do you see elected officials openly bragging about having an agenda that angers a key element of their own party's base? It's like if Cory Gardner bragged about enraging the Tea Party by pushing for a tax hike.
In the interview Hickenlooper even trashes the propaganda film Gasland for claiming fracking caused tap water to light on fire, saying that the water was flammable long before fracking was used in nearby wells.
Sure, Hick has called for disclosure of the fracking fluids used by companies drilling in Colorado, but fracking transparency legislation has already been passed in such ruby red states as Texas and Wyoming.
Throughout the interview Hick keeps coming back to how much he angers the environmental left to the point that it's hard to believe Hick doesn't actually enjoy the hate he inspires.
As Politico's Reid Epstein points out in the piece, Hick's pro-oil and gas stance hasn't hurt him one iota among Democrats in the state. The latest PPP poll, with a heavily Democrat skewed sample, shows Hick in sunny territory among members of his own party, at a whopping 78/12 approval.
Other Democrats are apparently picking up on the lack of political capital that environmentalists have in Colorado now.
A Colorado "Independent" piece yesterday got staffers for Congressman Perlmutter and Senator Bennet on the record admitting that environmental messaging simply isn't working as a way to promote more government subsidization of renewable energy. They realize voters respond to language about the economy far more than they do fear-mongering about ManBearPig/global warming.
Jobs language probably isn't going to help them much either. As Michael Sandoval at Peoples Press Collective reported yesterday, "green jobs" account for barely 2.8% of the employment sector in Colorado. That figure came from a Colorado Department of Labor and Employment report that acknowledged that "most" of the jobs listed as being green "pre-date the green economy."
The green energy economy isn't actually creating jobs and voters don't want to hear environmental fear-mongering. The Democrat Governor brags to national political reporters about how much his policies are against their agenda.
That leaves the environmentalist wing of the Democrat Party with basically no credibility or influence whatsoever. How far they've fallen in only a few short years.
We’ll be watching to make sure that Hick’s big words on fracking are matched by the deeds of an administration that is well-practiced in the art of sophistry…read that, slick words unaccompanied by actions.