Will Hickenlooper’s fracking commission be clairvoyant?
“Crystals amplify the consciousness.” – Shirley MacLaine
If you can channel other people and turn their thoughts into your own actions, you are “clairvoyant” as defined by the Wikipedia. And that’s exactly what the members of Governor John Hickenlooper’s fracking commission will need to be. Let me explain:
1. In 2012/13/14, six cities in Colorado’s Congressional District 2 (CD2) vote on ballot initiatives to ban or place a moratoria on fracking. Five pass (Fort Collins, Longmont, Boulder, Lafayette, and Broomfield), and one loses (Loveland). In all, these cities represent a strong majority of people living in CD2 (about 450,000 out of 700,000).
2. In early 2014, Congressmember Jared Polis who represents CD2 elegantly pushes forward two statewide ballot initiatives to address his constituents’ concerns that basically would help codify these votes into state law (he says “on behalf of my constituents” repeatedly, explaining why he pushes the ballot initiatives forward). Polis’s ballot initiatives get enough signatures and are set to go for the Fall 2014 statewide election.
3. In August at the last minute, Polis cuts a deal with Governor Hickenlooper to allow the Governor to appoint a “Blue Ribbon Fracking Commission” to address this issue instead of moving forward with the ballot initiatives.
OK so at this point, maybe fair enough. Rather than a super expensive election fight that might win or lose (and a deluge of annoying TV and radio ads), we have a Blue Ribbon Commission to address the issue in the short term. You’d think that the Governor would appoint members to the Commission who, indeed, represented Congressmember Polis’s activist-constituents. Right? Because that’s the only reason we got here in the first place.
Not so much.
Instead, Governor Hickenlooper appoints nineteen people who he calls the “right people” who can “get to yes.” After reviewing the names and histories of these people, none of them – absolutely zero – were involved in the local elections to ban or place moratoria on fracking in 2012/13/14 local elections in CD2.
I applied for the Commission, and I did not get appointed. I was very involved in the local elections in 2013 and 2014. You might just say it’s just sour milk that I’m speaking out, but I see it differently.
Hickenlooper had a chance to appoint people who could address the issue and “defuse” the problem – those people include about sixty or so activists who pushed the issue forward in the local elections in CD2. If I were Hickenlooper, I would have appointed one person who was an activist in the elections from each of the six cities. That way I got my bases (political ass) covered and I can say, as Governor, that about one-third of this nineteen-member Commission represents the people who are upset and activated, and then whatever the Commission comes up with will likely address and defuse the problem so that the people of Colorado can rest assured that its government is working for them instead of against them.
I know several of the people appointed, and I would call some of them friends (I don’t know what they would call me). They are fine people, upstanding, whip smart, politically and environmentally engaged, and I don’t have any bones against them at all, except that they don’t appear to represent me or my views on fracking or the views of the activist-constituents in CD2 who spent thousands of hours of their lives pushing the issue forward in the first place.
Unless they’re clairvoyant.
Here’s what I wrote to the Governor in my application to the Commission:
“I believe that climate change is real, is caused by burning fossil fuels, and is on the brink of causing cataclysmic impacts to our society. Therefore, the planet, the U.S., and Colorado must switch to a clean-energy economy as soon as possible which includes banning fracking in the state of Colorado. In addition, I would argue that fracking must be banned because it causes unallowable impacts to Colorado’s air, water, public health, and property values.”
What will the Commission come up with? Time will tell. I hope they bring crystals to the meetings.
[ Photo by Bryan Ledgard. ]
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