Activists accused the industry of being “selfish, greedy and sociopathic” as noted by media
Activists addressing a state oil and gas rulemaking hearing this week levied a barrage of accusations and insults toward state officials and even renewed calls to eliminate Colorado’s state agency responsible for regulating oil and gas development.
Speaking at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) hearing, Lauren Swain, representing national climate activist group 350.org, largely ignored the fact that the rulemaking was supposed to be the focus of the hearing and instead used her time to complain about the agency. From Swain’s testimony:
“With this new proposed rule, the COGCC has proven once again that it can no longer be considered a legitimate state agency because the COGCC continues to facilitate the pace of hazardous polluting oil and gas drilling and fracking operations near homes and schools subjecting communities to the risks of toxic emissions, spills and explosions.”
But Swain took her testimony even farther by lobbying for disbanding the agency in favor of creating a new agency that would “swiftly” transition the state to 100 percent renewables using the Solutions Project at Stanford as a guide. From Swain:
“The COGCC must be replaced with one or more agencies charged with one, facilitating to protect Coloradans from the harmful impact of oil and gas production and two, to aid and foster Colorado’s swift transition to one hundred percent renewable energy production and consumption using the Solutions Project developed at Stanford University as a guide.”
Up next was testimony from an activist who has previously accused the oil and gas industry of having a “personality disorder” and of being “socially deviant.” This time, Amanda Harper called oil and gas producers a “short sighted, selfish and sociopathic industry.”
It’s worth noting that Swain and 350 Colorado are closely affiliated with another activist organization, Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED), which is seeking to put a slate of proposals before voters to ban oil and gas development. In fact, the measures backed by Swain and CREED are so extreme that the Greeley Tribune editorial board recently characterized their anti-fracking ballot push to the actions of a toddler. While acknowledging the frustration some feel with the process, the Greeley Tribune editorial board says that is “no excuse” for CREED’s approach:
“However, that’s no excuse for the recent temper tantrum displayed by the Boulder-based Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development.”
The editorial goes on:
“[I]f we sound like a parent here, well, it’s because it’s hard not to look at the Boulder group as a toddler throwing itself on the floor, kicking and screaming in the hopes it will get its way.”
And with Harper and Swain’s appearance before the COGCC being the latest example of what the Greeley Tribune calls a “temper tantrum,” it seems clear that these groups are far more interested in grandstanding than actually engaging in the public policy process in a meaningful way.