Letter: More gas regulation is unacceptable | PostIndependent.com

Letter: More gas regulation is unacceptable

Darrin Smith
New Castle

I am glad that Gov. Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Task Force decided to make the trip out the West Slope, seeing as how this is the heart of the state’s natural gas production. I was even happier to see that hundreds of my fellow West Slope residents were on hand to let them know that additional regulation is unacceptable.

The message from the West Slope was not just one of “no more regulation,” however. The people present actually had an alternative for the task force and the Denver politicians to consider. The “Western Slope Way” that was talked about is how we have dealt with oil and gas development in Garfield County for some time — through engagement, not antagonism.

Our local elected officials have been working with, rather than against, the oil and gas industry, and the result has been good relations, clean and healthy air and water, few problems and a good system for addressing the issues that do come up from time to time. It is also one that can be adapted to each county as they see fit. Most importantly, this is a proven system that does not require excessive regulation from Denver, or one-size-fits-all legislation to make it happen.

The oil and gas industry is regulated enough from Denver. We do not need any more rules or laws from the Front Range telling us how to handle our business, especially when we have a well-tested model that should be held up as an example of how local communities are already more than capable of handling oil and gas development, in a way that focuses on cooperation and education, not fear and myth.

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