Letter: Elected officials interested in political donors
Colorado’s Legislature is considering reforming the current regulations as enforced by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) concerning the operations of the oil and gas drilling industry.
The industry states that Colorado already has the strictest regulations in the country. What they do not tell anyone is that there is a provision in the current regulations to the affect that if a violation occurs, the violator must agree to be penalized and has the right to negotiate the amount of the penalty. Wouldn’t it be nice if all regulations could be like this for everyone. This provision should be rescinded, and new provisions enacted that ordain that all regulations and penalties must be fully enforced and cannot be negotiated.
The state and local politicians are up in arms because they fear that any changes may drive the industry out of the state or adversely affect the amounts of money the state and local governments will get. They aren’t concerned about the costs involved when the industry causes loss of property values, property damage, or bodily injury to the residents of the state, and they never consider how these costs could be more than the money collected from the industry.
All residents in rural unincorporated areas should be stakeholders since the drilling company’s operations may be detrimental to property values, health, public roads, infrastructure, air and water that we all use. Many of our elected public servants in these areas are more interested in worshiping at the altar of the drilling industry and their big political donors instead of protecting their constituents rights and personal well-being.