It’s no secret that La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt is anti-oil and gas development. After all, her disdain was on full display during the oil and gas hearings in 2013 and 2014. But now it’s a little different as she has actually started an organization to fight against the well-being of the very people she represents.
Earlier this year, Lachelt founded the Western Leaders Network, which, apparently, is meant to “unite, support, and cultivate local and tribal officials to protect western lands and build healthy, sustainable, and resilient communities.” While that sounds great, what that practically translates to is that she is lobbying Congress to put additional restrictions on oil and gas companies.
Lachelt claims there’s no conflict because this organization is her job, but Western Wire offered a great example of just how conflicted she was:
“Yet at a May press conference hosted by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to preview the upcoming vote on repealing the BLM methane rule, Lachelt did not reveal her employment with WLN. She introduced herself to reporters as ‘a county commissioner from La Plata County, Colorado.’
“Standing beside the two senators, she told reporters, “This is a great rule. It is very critical for my community and people who live in my county. And I urge the Senate to hold onto this rule and to keep this rule.'”
Lachelt is obviously influence peddling. She needs to pick one or the other. In other words, she obviously cannot handle the responsibility of being both a county commissioner and an advocate against oil and gas. She should choose.