Friday, April 24, 2015

Can We Skip The Brain Damage


No one knows whether the fracking wars in Colorado will resolve themselves in months or years. And we don’t know how far the political pendulum will swing toward restricting or banning development before moderating.

Here’s what we do know: at some point, as a state, we will settle on embracing oil and gas development because we demand the product. Constantly. Certainly. At an affordable price. In every aspect of our lives.

I am a passionate centrist. In this blog, that means calling a spade a spade. How much brain damage must we endure before we reach the obvious conclusion?

Dropping the Villain

It may be fashionable in your circle to vilify and dismiss participants in the fracking discussion; however, the only villains worth ignoring are the drill-baby-drill and ban-fracking extremists. The rest: oil and gas employees, concerned citizens, environmentalists and the many combinations and variations of those three, are worth engaging.

Here’s the deal: we all have more in common than not on energy issues. Choose any two people, and my guess is we share at least five out of these six:
  • We use oil and gas products everyday (for transportation, home heating, cooking)
  • We use oil and gas by-products everyday (synthetic fabrics, plastics, electronics)
  • We are price sensitive to oil and gas products and by-products, or at least care about affordability for our less-affluent neighbors.
  • We love Colorado and want to protect its air, water, and scenery.
  • We are committed to the protection of our families and communities including health and safety and quality of life.

Fundamentally, we are all energy consumers and some of us are also energy producers. Villains? Not so much. By focusing on all that we have in common, we can engage our listening and empathy skills to discuss the items on which we disagree.