Fourteen months after the first meeting of Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Task Force, and nine months after the Task Force issued its recommendations, we are still waiting for those rules to go into effect. But, instead, the COGCC will hold more public hearings today and tomorrow because government officials feel it necessary to let those who disagree with the rules be heard ad nauseam.
To get some perspective on the absurdity of this timeline, the Founding Fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution in only 116 days. Yes, they formed a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the House and equal representation in the Senate and created the greatest government in world history in less than four months. And once they created it, they didn’t go back on it.
Not so with the Task Force. In a flip flop worthy of John Kerry, some Task Force members are saying they were against one of the two proposals even though they voted for it.
In a nutshell, proposed rule 17 is focused on collaboration between energy companies and local governments when siting new large oil and gas wells and facilities in “urban mitigation areas” (defined as having 22 homes within 1,000 feet of the wellsite). In fact, the term urban mitigation area is in the actual recommendation.
But now, after extreme enviro groups got mad, some like Matt Sura and Sara Barwinski are saying that’s not what they meant. They wanted the rules to apply everywhere new wells are drilled, not just in urban mitigation areas.
Can you imagine if after the Constitution was written, Ben Franklin said, “I know we debated this for months, but when we wrote presidential terms are four years, I intended them to be 10 years. Oh and that whole trial by jury thing? I thought only some crimes, not all, would be worthy of a jury trial.”
Get it together COGCC. Stop letting the enviros push you around.