Newsflash: All that talk about fracking bans, imposing local control to ban fracking, bladda bladda, affordable energy kills puppies – it turns out that environmentalists don’t really mean it.
That was the message from Pete Maysmith of Conservation Colorado on Sunday’s “#COpolitics: From The Source.”
“It’s a nice talking point but it just isn’t reality…” Maysmith said about the oil and gas task force outcome.
What it’s about, Maysmith explained, is that fracking wells are transforming into Megatron, trampling daffodils, destroying playgrounds and blowing up the planet.
Okay, we made up the last sentence.
“It’s changing people’s lives and until we admit that and get to the core of that, they’re going to be dancing around it and this issue is not going to go away,” Maysmith said.
So you see? It’s not about using the issue of local control as a means to ban fracking, of using the oil and gas task force to help enviros inch their way to a ban.
It’s about changing people’s lives.
While some enviros like Maysmith claim they don’t want bans and try to distance themselves from their more radical brethren like Cliff Willmeng and “Lotus,” Maysmith’s message was that as long as fracking operations are in the public view, we won’t go away.
That we believe.
Just look at Maysmith’s new campaign in Arapahoe County
to ban fracking that showcases a hypothetical map of oil and gas leases, it’s designed to convince folks that it leads to the gates of Hell itself.
Josh Penry, the former Senate minority leader who also appeared on the show with Maysmith, was more direct about the end results desired by Maysmith and his fellow fractivists:
“What’s happening is you have the environmental community who wants to be able to impose local bans to essentially create a system where they can go island hopping, fight by fight, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, and get something done that they can’t get done on a statewide basis, which is a ban. And that’s a Rubicon I think that you will see, that not just the oil and gas industry, but the broader business community which rose up against Congressman Polis last year, they’re not going to accept that because they don’t want energy chaos.”
That is precisely the point.
“I actually think we’re going to keep having lawsuits and ballot measures and political fights in this state because you have a segment of this culture that doesn’t like fracking for a whole host of reasons. And the notion of local bans is not some sort of academic fiction. The reality is in the City of Denver last week, where there’s no oil and gas production, you have a group of activists saying they want to ban it. In Erie, in the County of Boulder, they just rejected a proposed ban on fracking. So we’re seeing this all over the place.”
The oil and gas task force, which was the face-saving gesture of Jared Polis’s failed crusade last year against fracking, will wrap up its work this week and make its recommendations to Gov. Hickenlooper.
It was a nice effort, but we predict it will do absolutely zilch in convincing the likes of a Willmeng, or Sam Schabacker who is leading the Denver ban for Food and Water Watch, to negotiate or stave off a ballot initiative in the near future. No matter what Maysmith pretends.
Colorado already has the most restrictive oil and gas regulations in the country. That hasn’t stopped fractivits in the last several years from employing every trick in the book to ban oil and gas. And, any new list of additional restrictions put forward by Hick’s task force won’t pacify the mob of anti-drillers.
The fact that Maysmith once supported the creation of the task force and now is suddenly skeptical it won’t contain any
bans meat and potatoes, is because he wants it to go to the ballot in 2016.