The anti-democracy governor?
By Bruce Baizel
March 3, 2013
In a time when we might hope that the wave of extremists in elected office has peaked, it is disappointing to see a governor who has moved into the ‘anti-democracy’ camp of politicians. Such seems to be the case with Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the Governor that led off with, “despite what you might have heard, I much prefer drinking beer to frack fluid.” Oh really? You think that this statement will calm my nerves after you spend your time testifying before a U.S. Senate committee about frack fluid being safe to drink?
Well, okay, we all have bad days at the office.
But this morning I read that the governor plans to sue any local government that bans hydraulic fracturing, and in this case, he is referring to Fort Collins, Colorado.
This is the city where in the lead up to a city council vote on a ban, 22 of 55 businesses on the petition said last week that they were inaccurately represented by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association as part of a coalition of Northern Colorado businesses fighting the fracking ban.
Now last time I checked, we lived in a democracy, with multiple and overlapping layers of elected government – no one of which could – or should – trump the others. And, more importantly, we live by the vote – which in Longmont, Colorado, means that disposing of the toxic wastes from oil and gas facilities, and fracking, have been banned by the voters.
This is a basic civics lesson that the governor has apparently forgotten.
But then, this is a governor who thinks that Weld County, Colorado – with the most oil and gas caused water contamination in the state and a reputation as a county that is bought and sold by the oil and gas industry - has it all figured out with its “collaborative” approach to oil and gas development.
When it comes to oil and gas, this seems to be a governor who is at best politically tone-deaf, and who at worst does not believe in democracy.