Drilling Thompson an economic boon | AspenTimes.com

Drilling Thompson an economic boon

Dear Editor:

SG Interest’s beginning of the initial work for a drilling program in the Thompson Divide area is very welcome news. The downturn in drilling activity over the past few years has hit our county hard and resulted in a heartbreaking string of foreclosures, lost businesses, relocations and shattered dreams. The possibility of a new drilling program means that jobs can begin to be replaced and those dreams re-constructed.

Our region’s economy is an energy-based one. Nothing is going to change that anytime soon. Renewed energy development and production are going to be the keys to economic recovery. Tourism, hunting and related industries are important as well but do not bring the wealth and economic activity that energy development does. In any case, recreational industries need not compete with a vibrant energy industry; as experience even in our own county has shown, the two can coexist.

The anti-energy, not-in-my-backyard element will predictably oppose this at every stage, unmindful of the impacts on their fellow residents. For these people, no social or economic price is too high to prevent any development, no matter how minimal or important, from occurring. For them, continued unemployment and economic misery are preferable to producing even a single BTU of energy from Thompson Divide.

For most of us, however, SGI’s announcement signals a great new opportunity to see our part of the state flourish again. Do not be fooled by the unfounded doom-and-gloom prophecies of the hardcore environmental lobby groups, like the Thompson Divide Coalition – the chance that new economic development could be started here is too valuable to risk. Thank you for your consideration.

Marilyn Oden

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