Letter: Drilling in Thompson divide would put water, air quality at risk
This is a watershed moment for the Roaring Fork Valley, a point in time after which two distinct paths will not intersect again. Our community is made up of the families of original homesteaders and newcomers like my family who choose to live here in proximity to the same precious resources and open space that drew the ranchers who first settled here. As we paddle downriver together in hopes of preserving this pristine watershed, we are nearing a major confluence. Our friends in the Thompson Divide Coalition are urging us to pull our boats into the eddy before we race on to the whitewater below.
It’s a sunny day, a great day to circle up with friends and neighbors on the river bank. We come from a variety of backgrounds. We need a moment to pause so we can harmonize about the things that matter most: clean water, clean air and a clear path to a sustainable future. All of these things are at risk should oil and gas development ensue in the Thompson Divide. If we stick together on “river right” we can preserve these valuable resources. On this path, we can protect and promote a way of life that will bring health and vitality to the community for years to come.
The path down “river left” is not an easy passage. Those with extraction interests in our upper watershed would shortsightedly gamble on the future of our diversified economy and rural heritage in the hope they might find a finite amount of fuel. Industry is looking to paddle down this path despite strong evidence that the formation at the headwaters of our valley contains very little, if any, natural gas.
We know what the proposed “exploration” will mean. Thousands of truck trips through Glenwood Springs would reduce our quality of life and our air quality, increase noise and traffic, and result in a more dangerous traffic pattern.
Let’s get together to celebrate this journey down the river of life together. Let’s refresh each other about the importance of clean water and clean air to our jobs and livelihoods.
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