Letter: Fear is a bad basis for policy | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Fear is a bad basis for policy

I was among many West Slope residents who spoke in front of the Oil and gas Task Force in Rifle in favor of continuing the system of active local involvement and cooperation with the industry that has been used successfully in western Colorado for years, as opposed to the imposition of yet more regulation from Denver.

I was joined by hundreds of others who wanted to send a similar message to the task force; there is a better way than constantly coming up with more and more regulations, written by people in Denver who do not understand the industry the way we do.

The task force that was established by Gov. Hickenlooper was assigned the duty to create new regulations in response to a number of ballot initiatives from earlier in the year that threatened to sink our state’s economy. In other words, the role of the task force is to recommend policy based on fear. Fear is never a good basis for establishing public policy. Policy should instead be guided by an honest appraisal of the facts, and an examination of what is proven to work.

What works in the West Slope, in regards to oil and gas development, has been a collaborative process involving local governments, landowners, mineral owners, the community and the industry, all working together to anticipate and address issues, and all without the need for destructive government oversight from hundreds of miles away.

The West Slope Way that we spoke of is about mutual respect; it is about opening lines of communication, rather than building walls. It is about local governments making the best use of the considerable authority they already possess, and doing so in a way that respects everyone’s rights, and results in mutual benefits.

The bottom line is that we do not need more regulation from Denver, which will accomplish nothing but tear down an industry that is so important to our communities. There is a better way, one the West Slope proudly serves as an example.

Amy Williams

President, Citizens Supporting Property Rights, Hayden

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