Another day, another segment of Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper’s base erodes. The Denver Business Journal reported this weekend that 26 craft brewers gathered at Hogshead Brewery to sign a letter to Governor Hickenlooper asking for more regulation on the oil and gas industry. Here’s an excerpt from the letter as published by the DBJ:
“Our success depends on Colorado’s unique brand and the outdoor lifestyle that attracts new residents, businesses, entrepreneurs and millions of tourists annually. That is why we must strike a better balance between energy development and conservation of our state’s natural beauty.”
The story indicated that the state’s “outdoor lifestyle” and water purity issues were top of mind concerns of the group. There have been no documented instances of Coloradans (or beer for that matter) being harmed via fracking. However, there have been documented cases of brewers acting as pawns for radical environmental causes. One brewer, New Belgium Brewery, has gone so far as to say that her company will only hire Democrats or left-leaning employees. So tolerant, but we digress.
It’s not clear how fracking has damaged our ski industry, or the numerous other outdoor activities that draw tourists to our state year-round. It would seem that the two would be complementary efforts (low gas prices equals cheaper travel, amirite?) Tourism actually seems to be on a roll in Colorado, with the Denver Business Journal reporting last summer that 2011 tourism hit an 18-year high.
What is clear though, is the damage wrought by the alcohol industry.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, each year more than 26,000 people are arrested for drunk driving in our state, and more than 150 people are killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents. We do not have information on the thousands of other crimes that are committed each year in this state, fueled by people under the influence of these brewers’ products.
Perhaps the brewers should stick to what they do best – brewing.
(Update: Headline corrected, per Denver Post columnist Tim Hoover’s suggestion)