Over the past year, Colorado has become entrenched in a debate about hydraulic fracturing. Extreme environmentalists have been injecting fear into local communities while resolute oil and gas development enthusiasts refuse to acknowledge any concerns. The real debate and where the most positive outcome can emerge is from Colorado's pragmatic middle. Of course we all love this state, it's why we live here. We love to ski, fish, bike and play in parks; but we forget how and why we're afforded such pleasures. We forget that we have to drive up to our favorite resort, fill our boat that will take us to that honey-hole on the lake, and buy that perfectly made bike to fit our frame to race around the park. So we have to be reasonable. We have to consider our roles and responsibilities as it pertains to our states energy development.
In just a few short weeks primary elections will start and the issue of local control will show it's face on the ballot. While communities should be concerned over any type of industrial development in their communities, performing due diligence and understanding that development is important. Those most concerned over the issue have little to no development in their counties but have helped create and spread illogical fear across the state.
In an attempt at cooperation, Arapahoe County unknowingly set a precedent by working together with environmental organizations, academicians close to the energy process, operators, local officials and community members, to create a reasonable outcome that benefited the community through a set of rules and guidelines for energy development within its limits. It didn't happen overnight - but nothing truly good can - it took them two years. There was however, no ballot measure, no ban, no moratorium. Proof that things can get done when people truly engage for the good of everyone.
So the questions is, if the alarmist concerns of one community out-weighs the reasonable compromise of another, are we prepared for what unintended consequences will arise here in Colorado?