Industry group torpedoes Gov’s task force

Congressman Jared Polis and Governor Hickenlooper

Congressman Jared Polis and Governor Hickenlooper

Once again Western Colorado Congress (WCC) is targeted.

This week The Coloradoan published a partial list of the 250+ applicant’s for Governor Hickenlooper’s task force. Click here for the 5-page list.

In a move that appears to be designed to undermine Hickenlooper’s blue-ribbon-oil-&-gas-panel-commission-task-force, Energy in Depth – aka Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) – wasted no time leveling attacks at selected applicants on the list. The 18-member commission has yet to be named and already the industry is bitching about the people who applied.

The Campaign Goes On: ‘Ban Fracking’ Groups Target New Colorado Task Force

Anti-energy activists – including Anthony Ingraffea, the New York-based star of the Gasland movies – are continuing their “ban fracking” campaign in Colorado by seeking roles on a new oil and natural gas task force …

… Now the activists – who have no interest in energy regulations, only energy bans – are applying the same dishonest strategy to influence the new task force …

Whoa. I think it’s safe to assume the 133+ applicants who were NOT included on that public list are oil & gas industry representatives. Why don’t they want us to see the names of ALL the applicants? What is dishonest is withholding industry names from the public.  And they took it a step further and took advantage of The Coloradoan’s CORA request to attack applicant’s whose names were publicized.

… Chief among them is Anthony Ingraffea, a Cornell University professor who has been described by the environmental activist blog EcoWatch as an “implacable fracking opponent” … Ingraffea’s application letter fails to disclose his starring role in the anti-industry movies Gasland and Gasland Part II, in which he argues “fracking can never be done safely” …

… Next comes Jim Ramey, executive director of Citizens for a Healthy Community, a group from Hotchkiss, Colo … This group doesn’t want more regulations on Colorado’s already tightly regulated oil and gas industry – it wants to wipe out Colorado’s oil and gas industry by banning hydraulic fracturing …

… A number of people with ties to the Western Colorado Congress, based in Grand Junction, also applied for positions on the task force …

This is the second attack on WCC by an industry group this month. WSCOGA’s Dave Ludlam lobbed several shots over WCC’s bow in an op-ed column in The Daily Sentinel. Now EID’s Simon Lomax pursues the battle with potshots at Matt Sura for his association with WCC.

… For 12 years – from 1996 to 2008 – Boulder attorney Matt Sura worked for the WCC as a community organizer and, ultimately, the group’s executive director. Now in private practice, Sura has applied for a seat on the new oil and gas task force, and says he’s no longer an anti-energy activist …

Even the Governor’s choice as co-chair wasn’t spared a spray of bullets.

… For example, it’s curious that Earthworks – a national activist group that used the September 2013 floods to circulate a statewide anti-drilling petition and supports unlawful local energy bans – is also trying to place two of its operatives on the task force. After all, La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt, a former Earthworks activist, has already been named as the co-chair of the task force …

… The issue here is not who should or should not apply for positions on the Colorado oil and gas task force. Petitioning the government is a freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment, right alongside freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly …

As long as the industry gets to choose the task force members.

… The issue is why “ban fracking” activists don’t want people to know who they really are and what they really want, whether it’s on the campaign trail or when trying to shape the outcome of an oil and gas task force …

Wait a minute. The entire post attacks WCC, Ingraffea, Ramey, Sura, and Lachelt for their anti-fracking activities — with links! — and then accuses them of hiding an anti-fracking agenda. Since Lomax was able to find out what he wanted to know, it doesn’t look like they were hiding anything.

Clearly the industry is putting out the word that they have no intention of being honest brokers in this process. They not only want control over who gets on the panel, they want to run the show.

Want to talk about agendas?

If you’re paying attention, you can see the industry’s agenda. The industry got what they wanted from Hickenlooper and Polis. The ballot initiatives have been withdrawn. One-by-one the community fracking bans are being tossed out in court. What possible use could the industry have for a panel that will make recommendations to the legislature?

None whatsoever.

So what’s their next move? Call the game rigged, fold up their tents, and go home.

This is how the game is played.

In other news –

And that’s the way it is in Garfield County.

Fired oil and gas reporter claims local newspaper chain buckled to industry pressure
Critics in Garfield County accuse politicians of colluding with energy industry officials

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3 Comments on “Industry group torpedoes Gov’s task force”

  1. Fiona Lloyd Says:

    See, one of the things that the Industry relies on is the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that washes over the average Joe when they read this stuff. Are we surprised that that Oil and Gas peeps will clutch their pearls the minute anyone who isn’t actively employed by them looks as though they might, just possibly might, be an alternative voice? No, we are not. We don’t command the vast resources to make our voices heard that the Industry does. We have to rely on independent newspaper reporters to give us a balanced view so that we can make up our own minds about the issues. Along with the fact that we certainly can’t compete with campaign money the Industry shovels into the election process, it’s a wonder that the Industry feels compelled to attack the WCC at all……

    Could it be that WCC and all the people with an “anti-fracking agenda” do actually have a point? That fracking should be banned because it’s actually, you know, like, bad?

    Remember cigarettes? That’s what’s going to happen to fracking. Y’all can squeal as much as you want, but the evidence is out there, it’s growing and the tide is turning. The days of you peddlers of poison are numbered.

  2. Beth Strudley Says:

    Isn’t that the truth Fiona. Well said. I was walking today up my mountain, with my Pomchi, Bruno. I was wearing my Fracking Gassholes T-shirt, and everyone I passed on the road commented how AWESOME my shirt is…………Except Kirby Wynn’s piece of fluff. Imagine that……..Oh I know, he can’t be nice to civilians, or else he’ll lose his job like Judy Jordan did. Fracking Kills, we know it.

  3. Carl L. McWilliams Says:

    John Colson is a hero amongst us and he is more than worthy of our support at this hour. Let us all come together and stand back-to-back with John Colson in his fight for his professional honor from the personal damages inflicted by POST INDEPENDENT Publisher Michael Bennett and Editor Drew Munro.

    [FYI: Colson was all over the now well known pending Federal Class Action challenging the constitutionality of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Act. But Editor Drew Munro pulled Colson off the story. Anita Sherman and I emailed Colson an advanced copy of the Class Action Complaint three weeks in advance of the official Notice of Intent to Governor Hickenlooper, but Editor Drew Munro pulled Colson off the story.

    Therefore, I hereby nominate John Colson for a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 2014. I also request that Peggy start a special John Colson for Pulitzer Prize Blog where those who wish to join me in nominating Colson for a Pulitzer, can do so by leaving a comment on the John Colson For a Pulitzer Prize Blog.

    Carl L. McWilliams

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