Letter: Shunned by Tipton

Our communities have been working for years to engage Congressman Scott Tipton in an effort to conserve valuable public lands in the Thompson Divide area. We’ve sent thousands of letters and emails to his office, but Tipton has ignored our concerns every step of the way.

Tipton has chosen to side with some of his largest campaign contributors — out-of-state oil and gas speculators — over the men and women he was sent to Washington to represent. He’s ignored our calls and our emails, and he’s chosen to move forward without us.

Just last week, Tipton circulated a draft bill for the Thompson Divide area that ignored our concerns once again. He’s proposing a giveaway to Texas oil companies that would simply shift the Thompson Divide problem from one community to another. He’s disregarded the thoughtful input and suggestions provided to him by Western Slope counties, and he seems intent on moving forward without local consensus.

Tipton has had six years to work with our communities. For six long years he’s refused to work with our communities to resolve our concerns. Why is it that he’s suddenly interested in pursuing legislation? The answer is clear to me: election-year politics.

Republicans and Democrats, ranchers and mountain bikers, hippies and snowmobilers have all weighed in with their support for protecting the Thompson Divide area. But Tipton has been absent from the conversation until now.

Stop playing politics with our local economies, Mr. Tipton.

Jason White