Not something you see everyday: the liberal Denver Post editorial board taking cities and counties across Colorado to task for attempting to implement damaging and unnecessary environmental regulations, including conservative El Paso County, who is still contemplating the regulations. Who would have ever thought that the epicenter of right wingdom could capitulate to enviro-radicals over oil and gas development?
Guess Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is looking to make allies anywhere he can when it comes to shutting down domestic energy production.
The Post editorial was pretty clear in lambasting the proposed moves, saying "given the scope of state regulations on oil and gas drilling enacted in the last three years, we have a hard time at present seeing the need for additional rules."
And the Post isn't exactly known for its aversion to additional rules.
One political operative, and Tea Party favorite, in Colorado Springs can't believe his eyes. A reader forwarded this missive from Patrick Davis over the mind-numbingly stupid moves being considered down in El Paso: (Full piece on Davis' website)
If you read the Denver Post yesterday, you probably saw that El Paso County and Colorado Springs are two of the handful of local government jurisdictions considering the adoption of a new tome of red-tape and regulations for the oil and gas industry.
Keep in mind, these new regulations would overlap the punitive, job-killing energy regulations that Bill Ritter put in place a couple years back. Remember those? They were the same job-killing regulations that helped get Ritter run out of office. Unfortunately, the rules chased a lot of energy jobs from the state too.
…When I hear local leaders trumpeting the Sierra Club talking points, I want to say:
So much for energy independence.
So much for jobs.
So much for economic growth.
So much for El Paso County being different than Boulder.
So much for El Paso County having an energy policy different than Barack Obama and Ken Salazar.
This is the wrong move for El Paso County and Colorado Springs and this must stop.
Up in Arapahoe County, thanks to the leadership of County Commissioner conservative stalwarts Rod Bockenfeld, Susan Beckman and Nancy Sharpe, onerous regulations won't inhibit the ability of companies to safely access American energy.
Contrary to the left-wing rhetoric spewing from the Sierra Club and Diana DeGette, there is more than enough regulation of fracking in Colorado.
According to The Denver Post, in December, Colorado "adopted one the nation's toughest rule requiring oil and gas drillers to disclose all the chemicals in the fracking fluids they pump down wells."
Even Governor Hickenlooper has pushed back at the drivel being pushed by the left on the issue, saying it is "inconceivable" that fracking could affect groundwater.
Cities and counties are also learning that there is a legal limit to how much regulation they can throw on top of an industry responsible for powering cars and heating homes across the country.
From a Denver Post report this morning:
Residents [of Commerce City] on Tuesday night learned that Colorado cities cannot ban hydraulic fracturing outright in their communities, but they were told there are other ways to ensure the drilling will be done safely.
About 100 people wary of extraction operations near their homes listened quietly as they were told any effort to outlaw those procedures would likely be overturned by a judge. Attorney Barbara Green also said there is little a city can do to regulate the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Our friends at Complete Colorado have derisively highlighted a handful of other local governments attempting to do the same, reflective of a new strategy by radical enviros to fight drilling at the local level.
We hope the County Commissioners in El Paso, normally reliable voices for limited government, will beat back this Obama-like initiative. Arapahoe County's electeds took the reigns from the bureaucrats, and we hope the electeds in El Paso and other jurisdictions considering this nonsense do the same.