Hickenlooper sets record straight on fracking and gas drilling

As a fan of the science fiction series “Battlestar Galactica,” I still find it odd to see the term ““fracking” used in polite society since it was a euphemism for a dirty word in the TV series.

That is not too far off on how the far-left environmental movement (or as I like to think of it, neoprimitive) is attempting to portray the more down-to-earth usage of the word that is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing, a process used to extract natural gas from certain rock formations.

I brand this movement neoprimitive since, in analyzing its notion of man’s place in a perfect world, it would appear to place the ideal around the year one, perhaps during late summer, early in the afternoon.

The neoprimitive movement has made a number of claims about the professed dangers of using pressurized materials to fracture rock to allow natural gas to accumulate and be pumped from the ground.

For the most part, these theories can be generously referred to as hypothetical. But why take it from me when you can hear it from a geologist, much beloved by our kinfolk on the Democratic side of the aisle, Gov. John Hickenlooper.

On Monday, The Denver Post reported remarks made by the governor on the topic of hydraulic fracturing that undoubtedly caused concern at the weekly drum-circle meetings of many fracking opponents. The governor said, “There was a lot of “conflict and misinformation” about natural gas, which he said could provide a lucrative energy future for Colorado. He said recent stories in The New York Times about fracking were “distorted and off-based(sic).”

He then backed this up with actual experience, “I was personally involved with 50 or 60 (fracked) wells ... There have been tens and thousands of wells in Colorado ... and we can’t find anywhere in Colorado a single example of the process of fracking that has polluted groundwater.”

Well, as Dean Martin would say, ain’t that a kick in the head.  That certainly is not the message of the Big Green Environmental Machine (by machine I, of course, mean one constructed of wood that has died a natural death). One wonders what fallout might come from this. Will Hickenlooper have his Sierra Club membership card shredded before his eyes, lapels ripped off his suit and be frog- marched from the fort into the political wasteland (think Chuck Connors in “Branded”)?

Not very likely. As a matter of fact, I wager we hear little about it after this initial story. Fortunately for Gov. Hickenlooper, he is a member of the political party that opposes hydraulic fracturing, drilling, energy production in general.

If this were a Republican governor, there would be protests, grave editorial positions and YouTube videos of folks trying to set their bath water on fire to prove it was full of fracking chemicals. We won’t see that here.

One thing you can say about our governor is that he doesn’t want to preside over the economic destruction of the state and have his legacy be similar to that of his predecessor, “One Term and Out Ritter.”

That’s not to say that he’s above European-style wealth redistribution. Many of us will see that when we start opening the next few months’ Xcel power bills to note the two-tier rate system, which mandates consumers of large amounts of electricity not just pay more when they use more, but pay more on top of paying more to use more.

This is the kind of simple economic solution that has made the euro zone the powerhouse it is today.

Hickenlooper is not alone on fracking. Even James Lovelock, author of “The Revenge of Gaia,” father of the notion of Earth as a single integrated organism, has repented after a $9,400 summer utility bill. He is now in favor of fracking and encouraging natural gas development. He told the London Guardian, “Gas is almost a give-away in the U.S. at the moment. They’ve gone for fracking in a big way. Let’s be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it.”

Actually, he seems to have come to his senses.

Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, the War on Wrong.


COMMENTS

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I’m a Democrat, and I’ve never attended a drum circle. I’m active in working both for the local Democratic Party and with Western Colorado Congress. Neither of those organizations is opposed to all energy development as you opine. Wanting the industry to use practice best practices and keep our air, water, and soil safe is not going to hurt either industry or the local environment. Your opinion piece, which is lacking in fact but heavy in political pandering is not helpful.

I’ve attended a drum circle.  And I enjoyed my travels in Europe. 

I have also learned in my life that arguments which must be propped up by silly, sophomoric, binary and trite cliches—Democrats in ‘drum circles,’ ‘European-style’ (whatever the hell that is…just a thrown out buzzword to excite the ever narrowing base)—probably have little else to rely on, and thus generally crumble under any real scrutiny.  In the triage of my life, they are the ones I discount quickly and move on to something of substance. 

Hickenlooper and a fiction novelist from the 1970s.  Drum circles.  European-style wealth redistribution. 

Wanting to address, discuss and perhaps solve complex problems by finding compromise, consensus, and common purpose; to understand the costs and trade offs which decisions in the real world tend to involve—is but ‘neoprimitivism’ to Mr. Wagner.  “Concerned about toxicity?  You must want to live in a cave! ” Mr. Wagner apparently believes. 

Because anyone who doesn’t fall lock step into line with the GOP-derived talking point of the day(and think how far that has drifted in a few short years—once there were reasonable voices in that party willing to speak out.  Now the dominant voices think that local land use planning is a UN plot and that Obama has tanks ready to roll through Clifton) is but a tool or fool.  There is no middle ground.  Either you share the cartoonishly cliche world of Mr. Wagner and pretend—along with him—that it is reality, or you are worthy of nothing but disdain, ridicule, and disrespect.  Its a bit of an embarrassment, really. 

My guess is there are some intelligent conservative local writers that can frame an argument without relying on shop worn, tired, two-dimensional cliches. But that can instead present articulate, creative, clever and fresh reasoning to support their cause. Such would improve the quality of your paper.

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