When Governor Hickenlooper announced to the State that a “compromise” had been reached between his office and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and it involved (wait for it) a commission, there was a collective eye roll from across the state. Governing by commission seems to be Hickenlooper’s M.O. – it’s not leadership and it accomplishes nothing.
So, when the Durango Herald reported that the commission would be led by La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt, we sort of shrugged. …Until an astute reader pointed out her radical environmentalist ties. Prior to serving as La Plata County Commissioner, LaChelt founded an organization called the Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP) which frequently partnered with organizations such as Sierra Club, Colorado Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and more.
In 2005, OGAP joined forces with the Mineral Policy Center to create Earthworks. Here’s what Lachelt said about her work in 2010 remarks at an Earthworks conference:
“Back in the day, we used every trick in the book to block drilling, stop drilling, slow drilling, regulate drilling and we’ve fought to put new laws and regulations on the books where they didn’t exist before. We’ve blocked bulldozers, filed restraining orders, filed lawsuits, received death threats and been put on trial…
… On a practical level, the OGAP community can rattle off a number of successes over the years, ranging from the new Pittsburgh ordinance banning gas development within city limits, to local and state governments across the country passing precedent – setting regulations, to Wyoming adopting the country’s strongest rule requiring disclosure of the chemicals used in fracturing operations.”
Hickenlooper loves to talk a big game about his moderate stance on issues. Does this sound like a voice of moderation to you, PeakNation™? After fractivists held Colorado’s economy hostage to their unreasonable demands, putting Lachelt in charge of the commission seems a little like putting the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse. Fortunately, this “commission” has absolutely no teeth and will simply make a recommendation to the legislature. But, chalk this one up to another odd misstep by Hickenlooper.