Environmentalists have become fringe element for Democrats
That some Republican candidates for high office have landed well outside the political mainstream is a fact so indisputable that it has become mainstream even among conservatives to say so.
Harry Reid, that wretched partisan to whom great blame for Washington’s mess is due, is only a senator today because Nevada Republicans picked an out-of-the-mainstream, glassy-eyed gorilla of a nominee named Sharon Angle to challenge him in 2010.
Every time I see Reid on the TV, my head nearly explodes, and I blame Nevada Republicans. A similar saga has played out in other area codes.
The left has its own out-of-the-mainstream, glassy-eyed, fringe element to confront. Its name: the environmentalist establishment.
Environmentalism has contributed landmark gains to America through the years, but the movement is, these days, awash in radicalism. The movement has been lock-stock-and-barrel hijacked by know-nothing goofballs whose war on everything from coal to natural gas to free trade camouflages a deeper, more-troubling grudge that it has against modernity.
The latest target of environmentalist vitriol is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the practical benefits of which are many.
Does energy independence sound like a good idea? Guess what? Fracking (and related drilling technologies) could make it real in the coming decade, according to government agencies.
Want clean energy that will reduce smog, haze and carbon emissions? America is doing all those, without gashing the economy with job-killing carbon taxes or cap-and-trade scheme.
America is leading the world in the reduction of emissions that environmentalists claim to worry about most. How? By generating more power with an abundance of cheap, clean natural gas that fracking makes available.
And, of course, there are jobs, for those who care about such trivialities. None of these very modest contributions matter a hoot to those who, these days, control the Green lobby.
Scarcely a day goes by that the web of faux citizen groups, funded by environmentalism’s usual suspects, doesn’t put out another phony-baloney report, documentary or film pushing claims that fracking is dirty, apocalypse-inducing and unregulated.
When not issuing reports or launching films, these groups challenge government studies such as ones from New York and Windsor, Colo., both released in the last month, that say fracking is safe.
If you dare point out that about 2 million frack jobs have been completed in the last 60 years without a single instance of documented ground water contamination, they call you a Nazi.
The Boulder County Commissioners ran smack into this faction recently. Boulder County is actually trying to ban fracking. But, apparently not satisfied until energy executives are drawn and quartered at the courthouse, environmental belligerents stormed a meeting with shouting and threats. New security protections for the Boulder County commissioners are now in place.
This week Gov. John Hickenlooper went to Washington to defend hydraulic fracturing and extol its promise for clean air and the economy.
“Our goal in Colorado is to be accountable to the highest ethical and environmental standards with regulatory structure based on three principles — namely that our regulations are reasonable, scientifically based and protective of health and safety,” he said in written testimony.
Seems reasonable, but reasonable requires reason. Colorado’s largest environmental group wasted no time in verbally pummeling the governor while, down the street, environmentalists chained themselves to the White House fence to protest the Keystone Pipeline.
Is there a moderate, sensible environmentalist left in the country? If so, please call, send a message or shoot off a flare. I know you’re are out there, but why don’t we hear your voice? Some days it seems like temperate environmentalists are becoming an endangered species.
What Sharon Angle is to conservatism, the Sierra Club and its wing-nut ilk are to the left. Republicans need to confront know-nothing radicals in their midst. Sensible progressives will have to join Hickenlooper in doing the same.
Josh Penry is a former minority leader of the Colorado Senate. He currently works with companies involved in the oil and gas business.