Yes, words do matter. Those clumsily uttered can cause concern. Like the concerns raised about the reckless comments by Governor Hickenlooper in the recent New York Times piece.
“we should drill the living daylights out of natural gas and cut regulation.”
It should first be noted that the term ‘living daylights out of’ is seldom used in a positive way, unless–I suppose–you’re the one doin’ the…whatever, but never, that I can tell, if you’re the one gettin’ it done too: often ‘beating,’ ‘scaring,’ etc. according to a simple Google search.
The term ‘living daylights out of’ certainly suggests, or threatens, a certain abandon that willfully disregards other ‘distractions.’ And for those living in the gas patch–you know, with the flaming faucets, swelling glands, poisoned wells, speeding toxic trucks–those implications are troubling.
No industry should be given free rein by a governor or government to do as they will, regardless of other interests or conflicts. And although I doubt this was what Hick meant to convey, it’s a disconcerting statement in any context, and the governor’s office should provide more than a waffling ‘clarification.’
Sure, actions matter the most–and we’ll see how our new Governor handles these issues going forward–but words matter too. In any case they suggest close scrutiny of the administration’s next steps.
The Colorado GOP is already signaling that, if it were to decide, any industry could simply have its way with Colorado–just tell us which way, and bend that way we will…–and is preparing its legislative agenda accordingly
A number of Colorado’s industry leaders, including those from the oil and gas industry, met last week with heads of the state legislature’s Republican Party to discuss “streamlining” regulations and industry oversight in an attempt to stimulate business interests in the state.
The roundtable discussion, hosted by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry in downtown Denver, was described by State Senate Majority Leader Mike Kopp as an opportunity for industry leaders to share their ideas on how best to minimize government hindrances to their operations.
…”Republicans in the Senate have put out there an aspirational goal: achieving a 15 percent reduction in the compliance costs for regulated businesses…
Its not just the oil and gas regulations, pretty much everything is on the table for the aspiring GOP–at least as far as regulations, fees, and taxes go…reality was put away long ago.
Industry representatives present at the roundtable discussion offered suggestions that ranged from alterations of tax rates and fine levies to expediting permits and adapting regulations to better fit industries’ needs. Tisha Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, pointed to the economic impacts of the oil and gas industry, in addition to voicing concerns about industry taxes and federal and local oversight.
…”We’ve seen companies flee Colorado for reserves in other states, not because those reserves are any better, but because the perception was that Colorado was closing down for business. And the tax environment and the regulatory environment are the two key pieces of that.”
But gas from back east is better, I mean if cost to produce is a concern, and not because of Colorado’s regulations. Coming off–as we are–our third highest year (of drilling permits) in spite of an over-supply of gas in the midst of an historical recession, arguing that the regulations are holding the industry back is absurd on its face, of course.
Still, the fact remains (which COGA may be too stupid or manipulative to acknowledge) that the difference in cost to develop a cubic foot of gas from, say, Pennsylvania rather than from Colorado is significant. Reality: there are larger plays, easier to develop, closer to market back east that have helped glut the market making plays way out here less economical (but not uneconomical, as healthy and strong drilling rates show).
But when you have been given the opportunity to suspend reality as you help the friendly GOP legislators turn your wish list into legislation, why not say these things? They are busy people, after all, and need the talking points. A real
parasitic symbiotic relationship!
But wait. Perhaps greasing the wheel for industries is not the primary goal of good government? Perhaps, while business and industries’ expertise and input is certainly helpful, ensuring first and foremost the protection of public, and a fair balancing of competing private, interests should be our public agencies and officials primary responsibility?
Or maybe I’m missing something? Maybe I have mistaken government’s role, and the function of regulation in our society, imagining in my naive way that they were not merely impediments to someone’s profits. If so, I humbly offer the following proposition:
I suspect my commute time would be reduced substantially if I were allowed to drive myself in the HOV/HOT lanes, at whatever speed I deem safe, signaling for lane changes when I–in my sole discretion–deem it necessary or prudent.
Certainly, I would get to work more quickly, increasing my productivity (and thus, incrementally, the state’s), and so should be given the ability to ‘drive the living daylights’ out of our state’s roads and highways.
It would, I ensure you, increase my profitability, making me more inclined to drop that extra dollar in the barista’s jar, an outcome that is good–I think we can all agree–for me, the barista, and (by extension) all of Colorado and the nation. There are, after all, a lot of coffee shops in the state.
The Colorado GOP has already made its little street corner dance for its would-be suitors. Like many concerned about these issues, there is a reason I quit voting for them a while ago. I didn’t fill in Hick’s oval to get more of the same industry ‘friendliness.’