Keystone Cops, courtesy of Wikipedia

Keystone Cops, courtesy of Wikipedia

How many shenanigans happened during this edition of the Jared Polis I hate fracking show oil and gas task force, let us count the ways.  Or the votes.

Despite headlines from Mark Jaffe of The Denver Post, the task force did vote down two recommendations and, shockingly, they were about local control. Don’t worry, the oil and gas task force hasn’t veered sharply pro-oil and gas industry – the fun was yet to come.

On Monday, the task force took a straw poll.  The Keystone-set rules including that if any recommendation received less than 50% of the vote, it would be tossed. Apparently, there was an exception that Keystone made for two recommendations by uber-greenie rabble-rouser lawyer Matt Sura and righteous indignigator (we made that up) Sara Barwinski that would have expanded setbacks.  The proposals were tabled on Monday due to lack of support, but mysteriously all the proposals were voted on again today (including the setbacks) and they passed.

Clearly, some of the task force changed their votes overnight.  Hmmm.  Who lobbied whom?  It’s unclear why Keystone would have brought all proposals forward again unless someone with Keystone knew that there were folks on the task force who might change their votes.

Comparing some of these recommendations to past failed legislation in the House and Senate, it’s easy to see that some of these recommendations are pushed by the Environmental Defense Fund.  Is this task force really about redressing the EDF’s past legislative incompetence?  Please say yes, so we actually have a reason for this task force’s existence.

Perhaps the EDF should look to the oil and gas industry as an example of how to legitimately get stuff done instead of rigging the rules to get their stuff passed.  Many of the recommendations that received overwhelming support were backed by industry, such as flexibility in locating wells, collaboration with local governments, expanding local government liaison program, ensuring adequate COGCC staffing, and reducing truck traffic.  But, like the wacko enviros’ ill-conceived fracking bans, we suspect there is little legitimate support for their ideas.  Why else bend the rules?