LP025: Presidential debate, Longmont Candidate forum and an OHOFOL sounding ROAR

On Episode 25 of Longmont Politics, Chris gave his impressions of the U.S. Presidential Debate, as well as the Longmont Debate & Forum.  The main event was the debate between Congressional District 4 candidates Cory Gardner and Brandon Shaffer.  Their debate brought up the issue of NISP (Northern Integrated Supply Project), and how Mr. Shaffer would not answer the question of if he supported it.

Next was Longmont Ballot Question 300, which is to ban fracking.  A new group called Main Street Longmont has put out mailers and a TV ad, as well as their website NoOn300.com.  On the other side, Our Health Our Future Our Longmont (OHOFOL – pronounced AWFUL) has a goal of raising $45,000 and has so far raised less than $600.  But at least they have some great prizes for your non-tax deductible contribution.

Chris also made some off-the-cuff remarks about rumors of people thinking of running for mayor of Longmont in response to Dennis Coombs lackluster job, and sets the record straight on VoteLongmont!

Music played in this show was “Oxygen” by Dusty Hughes – courtesy of Music Alley.

Join Chris Rodriguez and his guests as they talk about the topics of the day. While the show will lean towards Longmont, Colorado with emphasis on politics, there’s no limit to where the show might go and may apply to your hometown. Leave a voicemail which we may use on-air at (720)924-1080                                                            

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Denver Post: O & G regs are state’s job

Interesting that the notoriously left-wing Denver Post in an Aug. 1 editorial has sided with the state on oil & gas drilling …

Editorial: In Colorado, oil and gas regulations are the state’s job

The city of Longmont has been looking for a way to legally regulate oil and gas drilling near residential areas for most of this year.

Soon, we’ll find out if they’ve succeeded. Continue reading

Anti-fracking ballot issue worse than doing nothing

(A version of this article ran in the July 5th, 2012 Longmont Times-Call)

The anti-fracking petition currently being circulated, and the ballot issue it proposes, is a big waste of time and eventually will be a waste of city and taxpayer money.

According to “Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont” (OHOFOL – or as I like to pronounce it “AWFUL”), their petition is to ban fracking within the city limits of Longmont.  If you are in favor of such a concept, it sounds innocent enough on its face.  But, as always, there’s more to the story.

The City of Longmont has a map showing basically where drilling could occur by denoting where there are areas that are buffered by 350 feet, OHOFOL uses this map to justify their concern for drilling in Longmont.  One glance at this map makes it pretty obvious that these possible drilling areas are on the periphery of Longmont or are outside the city limits.

The small “islands” within the city limits are mostly parks – as if any oil driller will make the PR disaster of setting up multi-pad sites on a city park.  So, this petition and ballot issue in all reality does nothing.  Actually what it does is worse than nothing.  It will cost the city – and the taxpayers who fund the city – countless tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a pointless feel-good endeavor.

Why?  First of all there is cost associated with putting this on the ballot.  When I asked our fine City Clerk the question of how much it would cost, she said it was not a simple question to answer (many variables, including if it fails to make the November election and if a special election is required for this one issue) but said somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000.  Should the cost alone be a reason to deny a citizen-led initiative?  Not entirely, but that’s only a fraction of the costs.

Secondly, if passed by voters, lawsuits are sure to follow.  Big lawsuits, not just from oil operators but probably from the State of Colorado as well.  As much as I’m up for a good fight, this is one – even if Longmont won – that would drain a couple hundred thousand dollars from the city that could be better spent on just about anything else.  But this would probably lose in court and we’d have spent all that money for nothing.

Longmont is on the western edge of the oil and gas that operators are after.  It only gets better (for operators) as you move east.  For every well not in the periphery of Longmont or within city limits – which is small to begin with – there will be at least that many just beyond city limits in Weld County.  This ban will not protect those in unincorporated Weld County with Longmont in their address, yet OHOFOL and Longmont ROAR are playing a cruel game with their emotions having them believe this will benefit them.  It won’t.  If anything it will cause more drilling in their area to occur.

When bringing up these inconvenient truths to these people, the response was an emotional “but we have to do something, what would you have us do?”  To that I say sometimes doing something, like this, is worse than doing nothing.  And with this issue, about 5,000 people are demanding that the other 85,000 people in the city play this pointless game, and fund it, too!  The collateral damage will be those who will see an increase in drilling near their homes, the drained city coffers, the homeless and other programs that will take a hit, and Longmont overall being none the better for this escapade.

Citizens should drive public discourse and city policy, but not misguided and obviously agenda-driven policy with the help of outside political influence and funding.  This isn’t as “grassroots” as you’d be led to believe.  Save your taxpayer money and don’t sign this petition, or if you have already, ask to have your name removed.  If it makes the ballot, vote YES only if you are willing to accept the collateral damage it brings – with none of the promised benefit whatsoever.

Chris Rodriguez
Longmont, Colorado

Prisoners of ROAR

Longmont has seen some classic fearmongering campaigns from liberal activists in recent years – the assaults against LifeBridge, HeavenFest, and Airport Runway Extension to name a few –  but the latest anti-fracking paranoia from ROAR (Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas Regulation) has sunk to the point of out bottom-feeding them all. Continue reading

Fracking: A new high in scaremongering

(A condensed version of the following letter appeared in the 3/4/12 Longmont Times-Call.)

President Obama’s anti-capitalistic agenda of killing our nation’s oil and gas industry is finally being felt locally as nervous politicians buy into the exaggerated fracking scare by issuing frantic moratoriums as if this practice will surely bring the World to an end tomorrow, when we should all know that this threatened destiny is simply not true. The big, bad oil companies—which sell ROAR.org members their gasoline–drill because they own or lease the mineral rights and Colorado already has pretty stiff rules regarding how and where they can drill (according to Gov. Hickenlooper, himself a former geologist) including the use of hydraulic fracturing chemicals. And of course, Obama’s act of stopping the Keystone Pipeline and its 20,000 jobs is never mentioned in any of the anti-fracking coverage or accompanying editorials. Continue reading