State’s oil, gas oversight a disgrace | PostIndependent.com
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State’s oil, gas oversight a disgrace

Dear Editor:

It’s hard to believe that any state legislature or any state governor in the United States would create a state regulatory commission that has the power to approve and locate gas wells with all the noise and mess and destruction of privately owned land that entails, and then stipulate that all but two of the seven-man board must be persons who have or have had investments of time and or money in the matters to be regulated. It may be hard to believe, but that is exactly what has been going on in Colorado ever since the big mining companies started mining the methane gas found in connection with coal deposits. And in Colorado that’s a big part of the state.

The excuse for this stupid requirement is that the matter is of such a difficult and complicated nature that ordinary people can’t possible understand it and make wise decisions. It should be obvious to any person of normal intelligence that the same thing could be said about the health system or the educational system or any of the other complicated problems governmental agencies deal with every day, and always have. With this kind of reasoning it would appear that the state’s burglars and prostitutes should set the rules and regulations pertaining to their line of work. Obviously, other state agencies have found that they can always call in outside or even inside experts for advice if and when needed. How does the public or even their elected representatives have any say in the system we have now with the fox guarding the chicken house?

Our state government can hardly claim ignorance. Nobody can be that ignorant. It is a well known and accepted matter of public policy that if any legislator or judge or any other person dealing with important public matters has a personal or financial investment in the matter to be considered, that person must recuse himself. Is that too hard to understand?

The way Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been set up is only another disgusting example of how the big corporations have been able to manipulate our government to their own financial advantage. The Colorado legislature needs to act quickly to correct this situation. They are in disgrace.

Chuck Worley

Cedaredge


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