Commissioners funneling public funds to oil and gas interests is shameful
What would you do if you had $1.5 million to improve your community? Would you support our struggling tourism industry? How about bolstering the health department’s efforts to tame Covid-19? Maybe you’d help fund a job readiness program to help workers get back on their feet.
Unfortunately, our county commissioners have chosen to do none of those things.
Instead, they have decided Monday to waste another half million dollars in public funds, on top of the million they have already squandered, to unilaterally finance a special interest group that opposes common-sense reforms to make the oil and gas industry safer for those of us who live close to their drilling. These measures that the Garfield County commissioners oppose include increased inspections for leaks with operations located within 1,000 feet of homes, and twice a year inspections of all wells for leaks that are harmful to our health and the environment.
As a Garfield County resident, I do not believe fighting basic health and safety measures is a good use of public dollars. When I raised this issue in the Garfield County commissioner meeting on July 6, I was rebuffed by Commissioner Jankovsky, who dismissed my concerns as those of “… a minority in Battlement Mesa … about 25%.” This isn’t the first time that Jankovsky has made it clear that he thinks his only duty is to serve the needs of his constituents who voted for him — as far as he’s concerned, the other 1,175 people who call Battlement Mesa home simply don’t matter.
Despite what our commissioners may think, an elected official’s job is to protect everyone in their community. Spending $1,500,000 to single-handedly fund an effort to allow oil and gas companies to release poison into the air near our homes isn’t protecting anyone, unless you count energy industry executives in Denver and Houston.
Now, I pose to you the same question I asked Jankovsky: If you were in the 25% with a gas well in your backyard, wouldn’t you think you needed protection, too?
Follow science, not speculators
Feels like basic military training. Do things because you’re told. That’s the subtext of all this COVID-19 lock-down. These “necessary mandates” like closing down schools and the economy are precautionary for a virus that hasn’t been studied.
The results so far are anemic relative to the Spanish Flu or the Black Death. In regard to the regional population: One in three died during the Black Death. One in 10 died during the Spanish Flu. One in 16,000 died so far during COVID-19. The ordinary seasonal flu kills one in 19,000.
So far, COVID-19 is just a bit more fatal than the ordinary seasonal flu. This doesn’t even compare to the Spanish Flu or the Black Death.
Be cautious, but notice who benefits from, or perpetuates speculative narratives. So far, data spikes are relative to the spotty testing. Is this a hoax, a crime and a cover-up all in one?
Only more data will tell. That’s why comprehensive testing is…