No Time to Snooze…

Polsters, and all other sentient creatures in Colorado, need to be aware of the latest opportunity for our Governor to stack the deck for his O&G industry friends or, instead, channel his predecessor and do the right thing for the people of Colorado.

The Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, David Neslin, has announced his departure from that position to take a job with a law firm that specializes in defending oil and gas companies. WTF?…again?

The conflict of interest questions raised by this fact are only heightened by the long history of such revolving door activity in this position. It is imperative that front range citizens, activists, and government officials understand how important it is to contact the Governor (sorry, I don’t have time to look it up for you) and insist to him that Director Neslins’ replacement should be a regulator…someone who will not likely be offered a fat job in the industry they are supposed to regulate…not facilitate.

I knew Director Neslin during the rule making process, and I am surprised and disappointed in his choice.

But it is his to make, of course.

The question of the influence of politics on public policy is being addressed by a powerful new voice from Garfield county. I encourage everyone to check out the “Earthworks” website, and look for a story by Judy Jordan, former Oil and Gas Liason for that county. She has a very enlightening story to tell. Make sure you read the comment by Lisa Bracken, as well.

Sorry I can’t seem to copy a link for you. It may have something to do with my innate stupidity….ya’think?    :)  

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Konola says:

    The phenomenon known as regulatory capture is alive and well in the COGCC. During the most recent hearings on more transparancy in fracking fluids, that was blatently obvious. It was the first time I had ever met Neslin, but it seemed to me that he was more interested in keeping industry happy than he was in truly regulating a practice that has harmed citizens in Western Colorado.

    Neslin ultimately works (worked?) for Hickenlooper, who has also been captured by the industry. The scope of the hearings was limited to one subject–disclosure by order of the Governor. Even the public health representative on the commission declined to question how the health of people working and living in the oil patch is protected because of the limited scope.

    Out here in the wild and wooley west, we frequently hear of industry vehicles running off roads near municipal water sources. These vehicles are sometimes carrying some pretty toxic loads. My sources tell me there was one such accident just yesterday, that would never have been reported to the COGCC, had not a reporter and environmentalist happened along in time to see the frantic cover-up efforts.

    • Car 31 says:

      The Governor needs to tread carefully with this one.  While the COGCC is still an industry lacky, it is more because of the lack of employees and inspectors than the internal culture. To Neslin’s credit, he helped move the Commission away from a good old boy’s club. There is no argument that more needs to be done – and now is a time to enshrine the hard work of the parting director, not slide backwards.

      Gov Hickenlooper – choose a replacement carefully. An industry friendly toady that believes oil and gas regulations are for the meek, is not what this state needs right now (or ever). The industry may claim regulations slow the permitting process in the state, but our (YOUR) constitutents are demanding local governments pass local regulations partly because there is little faith in the state’s ability to inspect and regulate the oil and gas industry.

      Do not, Gov. Hickenlooper, listen to those that would tell you this is an opportunity to show the industry that Colorado wants and needs their economic development. That is secondary to ensuring there is a strong regulatory body watching this industry.

      The oil and gas companies are not leaving

      this state. They are investing billions and they will continue to invest (and reap) billions. Do not loose this oppportunity to show your broad Democratic constituents you care about their concerns. I fear if you choose poorly, not only will your face melt like in that Indiana Jones movie, but you’ll seriously damage your already tenuous standing with the Democrats.

  2. The realistThe realist says:

    includes Judy Jordan’s Feb 9th article:

    http://www.earthworksaction.or

  3. Middle of the Road says:

    I added the link into your diary, provided by The Realist below. Hope that is okay with you.

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