Economic development talks planned with state trade office, Scott says

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Kudo’s to Charles Ashby (“Economic development talks planned with state trade office”) for exposing State Representative (and would-be State Senator) Ray Scott as a shill for the energy industry—and partisan hypocrite.

Scott’s initiative – albeit conceptually admirable – is tainted ab initio, because it indulges the all-to-familiar false premise that:  “This is an energy-based economy, so that’s where we have to start”.

In fact, the Grand Valley’s (and thus House District 55’s and/or Senate District 7’s) real economy is not “energy-based” at all (albeit, there is ample opportunity for expansion).

Rather, Fall 2013 employment data published by the Grand Valley Economic Partnership reveals that no energy developer ranked among the top 25 employers in the Grand Valley (although Halliburton did in 2004).  Thereafter, in 2009 (post “bust”), the energy industry accounted for only some 3% of local employment.

Thus, Scott is correct in admitting that his “ideas” may not be the “right ideas” – because they are obviously not – and could even jeopardize market-driven diversification already in progress by favoring one segment over others.

The best idea Scott offers is to expand Colorado’s governmental presence on the Western Slope, both “as a way of helping stabilize the economies in some local communities and getting them closer to the local people they work with”.  Does Scott support increasing the number of state environmental inspectors and officing them closer to the “gas patch”?

Of course, whenever Democrats propose such Keynesian notions, Republicans insist that “government can’t create jobs” – much less “stabilize economies”.

Therefore, Scott would have more credibility if he advocated repealing the Halliburton Exceptions to the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, and Clean Air Acts, and – in the midst of another unhealthy inversion – explain to his constituents why the oil and gas industry still deserves preferential treatment under those essential environmental laws.

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