Get tough on gas drilling
September 11, 2012
In the upcoming election for county commissioner, there’s clear distinction between my views and Steve Child’s regarding drilling for natural gas in Pitkin County. While I’m steadfast in my resolve to do everything possible to stop any drilling whatsoever, Steve continues to qualify how it might be possible for some to occur.
In a recent letter to the editor (“Drilling quote was taken out of context,” Sept. 10, The Aspen Times), he suggests that he would oppose drilling in the roadless areas of Thompson Divide, and yet he does not offer up how he intends to prevent that from happening. How do we stop them once they begin drilling in that precious area?
He further states that there are decades-old drilling pads, pipelines and storage areas in the area (all true), with gas companies holding valid leases on big portions of the area and that “we need to realize that there may be new gas drilling in these parts of the county.” The clincher is when he states, “I am not a person to shove the impacts of developing my personal energy supplies onto someone living elsewhere. Any energy development has some local environmental impacts, and I am willing to have those in my backyard if they are part of the energy solution of the future.” (Please read his entire letter to arrive at your own conclusions of what is being said.)
Our industry, tourism, can only be harmed by the inclusion of an industrial use like drilling. The water necessary to augment such an effort is enormous and would put a huge burden on our already strained rivers and streams. Few are aware that there is “medium” potential of natural gas on the Crown, Williams and Light hills as well as the Old Snowmass and Emma neighborhoods. If we let the gas companies in, Steve might have, literally, natural-gas drilling in his backyard.
My solution to stop any exploration from happening is by adopting a one-year moratorium on fracking, similar to what Boulder County, El Paso County, Colorado Springs and the state of Vermont already have done. During this time, we could adopt a highly restrictive drilling code, addressing our health, safety and welfare concerns, thus making it so tough that gas companies would choose to focus their efforts on less restrictive areas of the state.
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This is a huge issue, and you, the voters, must ask yourselves: Who would you rather place your trust in to deal with such an important matter?
John B. Young