Letter: Respect for each other
Across the country, we know that the debate of fracking and oil and gas development is taking place daily. At times the debate can even be heated and controversial.
We know that we are not going to all agree. Let’s face it: Sometimes agreeing to disagree is as close to compromise and common ground that we get to, but we should also be able to agree that this debate needs to be civil and respect the humanity and safety of all.
Recently, a newspaper in Boulder ran a letter to the editor that not only called the oil and gas industry a threat to humanity, but it also advocated for virtues of violence against the industry and its employees. After an outcry from the public, the editorial page editor from that publication wrote a response that amounted to “I’m sorry … not sorry.” This is unacceptable, and thankfully we feel this would have never occurred with the Citizen Telegram or any of the other publications that we have read in western Colorado.
Here on the West Slope, we not only appreciate our friends, neighbors and family members who work in the industry, but we realize that if we want to heat and cool our homes, power our cars, fertilize our fields to feed our communities and support our economies, we need and thank our oil and gas workers.
In addition, we can agree to debate and disagree, but statements like the one published in the Boulder newspaper and the response by its editor are unacceptable. They are shameful, reckless, dangerous, irresponsible and indefensible. They may behave that way on the other side of the Continental Divide, but I hope we can all agree it is not how we conduct ourselves here. It is not the “West Slope Way.”
The spirit of individualism and having an opinion are part of the fabric of Colorado, but deplorable behavior should not be tolerated by anyone, and I hope the media, elected officials and citizens of this state can see to it that this kind of behavior is not the norm or marginalized.
Piceance Energy Action Council
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