Jeremy Nichols says he is in shock, shock, that such a thing could be considered “on the doorstep of the Rocky Mountain National Park.”
And by doorstep, he means the nearest parcel is seven miles away — we found that information tucked into the last paragraph of a 31 paragraph story in the Daily Sentinel.
Nichols says energy drilling has no place in any area that is invested in outdoor recreation— criteria that nearly every county in America meets.
We’re not so sure “recreation” is the right word either, because recreating has become increasingly more restricted in national parks when it comes to where you can hike, bike, camp, rock climb, ride a horse. Many even exclude dogs, because they are not from the correct animal kingdom, or something.
It would be more accurate to say that WildEarth Guardians does not want energy exploration anywhere, on public land or private.
An environmental assessment will be issued in November, with a final announcement planned for February on what lease parcels will be offered, and a 30-day protest period to follow.
The 20 Grand County lease parcels cover 16,782 acres of BLM land and 10,747 acres of private land with federally owned oil and gas beneath them.
We further expect that if the BLM does offer leases, they will be immediately sued by WildEarthers demanding to know what the effects of burning gas or oil will have on global warming. We would make a joke about studying the effects of people visiting national parks on climate change, but we’re afraid the park service will take us up on the challenge and start limiting the number of visitors.