Sunday, December 09, 2007

Picking on Oil and Gas

UPDATE: Be sure to catch the Rocky Mountain News' 4-day series called, Beyond the Boom. It starts tomorrow. Of the series, Rocky Mountain News publisher John Temple states, "We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make the best possible decisions. We can’t do that if we don’t ask good questions."

Oil and gas drillers in Colorado are going to have to learn to play by a new set of rules. Those rules promise to safeguard public health.

Drillers, predictably, are "skeptical" of the proposed public health rules. They feel like they're being picked on.

Of course they're being picked on.

The impact of the latest oil and gas drilling boom to Colorado is unprecedented. More wells are being drilled than ever before, more of the state is being drilled than ever before, more pollution is being released into our air and water than ever before, and more communities are feeling the pressure of a boom than ever before.

At the same time, we're all finding that the oil and gas industry lacks accountability when it comes to keeping communities safe and healthy in Colorado. Growing air pollution, water contamination, and health problems are increasingly linked to drilling. Our rules have so far allowed this, and that's going to change.

But the proposed rules aren't an indictment of the oil and gas industry, something drillers need to understand. The proposed rules are just filling gaps, making sure that as drilling continues to boom in Colorado, communities stay healthy and prosperous.

In our efforts to make sure oil and gas drilling is done right in Colorado, of course the industry is going to get picked on.


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