In a prime example of how responsible environmental stewardship, pro-business and pro-consumer governance, and industry can work together for the benefit of all, Colorado (CO) Gov. Hickenlooper a recovering geologist has proposed the toughest new restrictions in the nation on fracking-related methane leaks. Working with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and gas & oil industry representatives, the proposed regulations come shortly after the voters in CO expressed concern over the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing, as it is technically known. The new bans were enacted in four towns (in addition to one previously passed, and now being litigated). This, in a state replete with fracking and horizontal drilling, which will continue its progress, producing more energy from natural gas and enhancing the overall economy and employment picture there. (The number of active wells in CO increased from 15,000 to double that number between 2006 and 2011).
ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross had this perspective: The proactive approach taken by Gov. Hickenlooper is somewhat at variance with most of his Democratic supporters, since the party contains most of the more fervent anti-fracking zealots. However, his precautionary regulatory approach earns plaudits from all objective observers, given the actual and perceived risks of pollution: elevated ozone levels and increased smog alerts near fracking sites have rattled his constituents, and there s no need for such concerns to go unaddressed and lead to heightened anti-fracking activities, when a simple solution is at hand. These stringent regulations are not ideal from industry s point of view, and the radical elements on the left would prefer to see fracking disappear entirely. Well, that s not gonna happen, and we here at ACSH hope that more such cooperative interactions will take place elsewhere for the good of all. Are you paying attention, Gov. Cuomo?