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.


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Kudos to Mr. Penry and Gov. Hickenlooper for their educated stance on fracking. Someone needs to stand up to the fact ignorant, emotionally biased and marijuana / mind damaged leftist wingnuts.

Smog in the Uintah Basin and Pinedale are at levels comparable to large cities, from oil and gas development.  Does stating a documented fact make me ‘fringe’?

For most citizens living near this activity, whether its the actual frack or some human or mechanical error that occurs during the frack operation that causes blow outs, failures, wells spewing, etc. is probably splitting hairs. 

Did you notice that Longmont citizens overwhelmingly banned fracking, despite being outspent by industry money at some large ratio; that the Ft. Collins council is posed to do the same?  One can be part of the solution, sit down and admit that there are legitimate impacts and concerns, and maybe make some progress in addressing these issues and finding some way forward; or columnists can just parrot the industry talking points and refuse to accept the reality of growing citizen and community concern, by attempting to marginalize all legitimate discussion as ‘wing nut.’

This later strategy, I think, will lead to more local governments standing up in response to what their constituents demand, as any good Republic should encourage, and more citizen initiatives in 2014.  Remember how easy it is to amend our Constitution in CO. 

When in the future some astroturf energy PR firm (or columnist) bemoans citizens and communities seizing the initiative, think back to this column discounting citizen concern as an example of the arrogant industry attitude that led Coloradans to assert more control.


“State regulators say at least 84,000 gallons of water contaminated with oil and chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing spilled from a broken well-head in a field about 4 miles north of Windsor.”

Also from the Denver Post article: 

“A Jan. 22 spill by PDC released 2,880 gallons of oil and covered 3,900 square feet, leaving groundwater contaminated with benzene at a concentration 128 times higher than the state limit along with toluene and xylene chemicals.”

Read more: Water fouled with fracking chemicals spews near Windsor - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_22586154/water-fouled-fracking-chemicals-spews-near-windsor#ixzz2KyqkoYla

Funny JP would name the Sierra Club (always a kicking post for anti-enviroment vitrol)because up until recently they supported enrgy efforts, including fracking. Probably because of the information flow in, they have recently decided that O&G industry hasn’t been quite forthright and shifted their position some.
Of course, ol’ JP blames it all on Democrats and blithly glides over the fact that many sensible pubs are involved to clean up this destruction of the environment that is necessary for us to live. Unlike JP, they don’t see a lack of “temperate” environmentalists, but they see an over whelming majority of concerned scientists and health experts that are rapidly taking up the alarm for irreparable damage being done.
Great to have a home heated by natural gas, but useless when you can’t breathe the air or drink the water. The practice currently followed could be drastically less water damaging and chemical polluting if they used LNG to frack with, but no, they percieve a greater cost and would prefer destroying millions of gallons of water to save a buck. JP needs to stop looking at some vanished past and wake up to view what is coming in the future with the poisoning of the life giving resources of air and water.

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