The Gazette has a novel idea: the thing driving job and economic growth in your state, keep doing that. In an editorial, the newspaper examines how Greeley has gone from being an awkward, dusty, foul-smelling, town in the 1990’s to an ever-burgeoning urban area today thanks to the thriving fracking industry there:
[H]ere’s the real story, hidden in all the data. Greeley saw a staggering jobs-growth rate of 5.2 percent throughout 2013 – a full 2.2 percent higher than the rest of the state. The once-sleepy agricultural town, known for the odor of cattle, has become among the more thriving urban economies in the United States. Housing prices are soaring at a rate exceeding almost any other market in the country, as reported March 14 by the Greeley Tribune. The quality of roads, parks and a variety of private-sector amenities continues to improve. [the Peak emphasis]
With its population almost doubling in the same period from 60,000 to 100,000, Greeley continues to attract more and more people with good-paying jobs. Yet, all was not always harmonious between fracking and Greeley. Even before it was fashionable to be anti-fracking, Greeley was trying to ban it back in 1992 (does that make Greeley the hipster of anti-fracking? “I was anti-fracking before it was cool”).
Voters passed a ban on fracking that was in clear violation of property rights protected by the federal and state constitutions. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in Voss v. Lundvall Bros. Inc, in 1992, to overturn the ban on the basis of its conflict with property rights.
But, rather than turn Greeley into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, fracking has instead enabled Greeley to thrive:
The fracking wells exist harmoniously with the community…
…The wells coexist with a wetlands nature habitat, resident hawks, a school, houses, apartments and athletic facilities. It sounds like urban paradise, not a community fraught with industrial danger and blight.
…The wells contribute high-paying jobs and millions in passive tax revenues that pay for nature conservation, schools and other public amenities that make the community healthier and wealthier by the day.
Too bad Democrats will never know a place like Greeley exists, where fracking can become a huge resource to a thriving a community; it is way too far outside of the Denver-Boulder corridor for them to venture out of their small-world view.