Don’t bash gas industry | AspenTimes.com

Don’t bash gas industry

Dear Editor:I used to work upvalley, but due to the economic downturn, I now work in the gas industry – and without it I’m not sure what my family would do. While development shouldn’t happen everywhere, understand that there are a lot of us who depend on clean water, clean air and good jobs. Not all of us received millions of taxpayer dollars for conservation easements on our big ranches (such as one certain ranch on Thompson Creek in Pitkin County); not all of us are executives at Aspen Skiing Co. or work for nonprofits; and not all of us have the time to tell our side of the story that the gas industry is saving our families. We’re too busy getting up early making a living and paying taxes and doing our best. And guess what? Sen. Udall receives money from local gas companies too (Oxbow, Xcel), and from Skico executives (Mr. Schendler), and over $20,000 from just one environmental PAC, and Sen. Bennet used to work for Anschutz – a big oil & gas family! So does that mean these “umpires” have been bought off too? Or are they just happy being politically schizophrenic? But also, when I see so much hatred against the gas industry from upvalley folks, recognize there is a lot of us who are your neighbors, friends, buddies on the ski lift, parents at the kids’ plays, who are making a living with the gas industry. Can it be done better? Sure, I sure wouldn’t want to live next to a gas pad; it’s bad enough having to work on them … but don’t vilify the industry and the quiet neighbors who leave early in the morning, and get home late in the evening, just happy to have a job. There is a huge amount of gas out there, and compared to coal and bringing in oil from the other side of the world, gas looks very good. Why don’t we focus on gas being developed right and responsibly here, instead of burying our heads in the sand and assuming it just magically appears in our heaters and stove? If we just ensured the industry lived up to what they promised, so many of the fears and issues would be resolved. I’ve had the opportunity to travel, and I’ll guarantee you getting our energy here at home is a lot nicer on the earth than letting some other country do it. If you ever get a chance to see what’s done in Mexico/Russia/ the Gulf, you’d think twice about dumping our energy needs on countries who don’t give a darn. What’s the saying? “Think globally, act locally?” A trip out of “the valley” would be good for you now and then.Robert StrongNew Castle