Democrats in Adams County have decided the best way to win re-election this year is to go after oil and gas operations in the county and demonize an industry that provides thousands of jobs for local residents, good wages and supports nearby schools through tax revenue generated from their operations.
But what’s been interesting to observe is that these Democrats seem hell bent on getting credit from their base for “doing something” to fight oil and gas without actually doing something. It’s a very fine line to walk – one that is extremely short sighted and likely to blow up in all of their faces.
For example, the Adams County Board of Commissioners held a special hearing last night over whether or not to implement a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the county. It was predominantly pushed for and championed by Commissioners Eva Henry and Chaz Tedesco even though both commissioners were involved in crafting a lengthy MOU process for the county in 2014. Why the redo? Both are up for re-election, of course!
The board ultimately did not pass a moratorium last night but it gave Henry and Tedesco plenty of opportunities to look like they support both sides of the issue. In fact, Tedesco actually said that at one point – that he supports both sides of the issue. Not sure how that’s possible, but we digress….
Thornton City Councilman Val Vigil pulled a similar stunt at the municipal level, last night, by trying to get city staff to draft a moratorium in order to grandstand on the issue for his liberal base. It failed, but Vigil still got his chance to charge the hill. Never mind that such a proposal threatens the livelihoods of thousands of families that live in Thornton and Adams County.
And let’s not forget that Rep. Joe Salazar has also been taking every opportunity to pander to voters on this issue. Despite oil and gas not being his area of expertise, he even hosted a townhall meeting on a proposed site in the county. It’s not even within his regulatory purview to do anything about it, so (not surprisingly) the meeting devolved into a mere bitch-fest.
Salazar is also introducing a bill to make oil and gas companies liable for any damage to nearby homes even if it wasn’t caused by their operations. The proposal is so out there it isn’t even expected to pass the Democrat controlled House.
While Adams County Dems might think all these stunts will help them stay in office, what they’re actually doing is hurting the local economy and the very people they represent. They create massive heartache for the thousands of Adams County families who are employed by the oil and gas industry and actually discourage local investment by failing to provide a predictable regulatory environment.
But who cares about your constituents’ ability to put food on the table when your political career could be at stake?