Don’t Worry Broomfield, Bill Owens Just a “Concerned Citizen!”

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens (right, bobblehead left).

Dan Njegomir, a former staffer for the Colorado Senate GOP and now a quasi-reporter at the Phil Anschutz-owned Colorado Springs Gazette, published a piece yesterday about former Gov. Bill Owens wading into a ballot measure fight in Broomfield over oil and gas drilling regulations:

You know the war over Broomfield’s anti-fracking proposal – or any pending ballot issue, for that matter – is heating up when a former governor steps into the fray. Republican Bill Owens, who served as Colorado’s chief exec until 2007, took to the airwaves and digital media this week with a video denouncing Question 301 on Broomfield’s November ballot.

In the video, Owens calls 301 “a deceiving measure” and a “cynical power play focused on blocking energy development.” The former two-term guv also assures viewers “Colorado already has the toughest oil and gas regulations in the U.S.”

In siding with the No on 301 campaign, Owens – who before his time in elective office ran the Colorado Petroleum Association – appeals to war-weary Broomfielders in his video:

“National outside groups are trying to turn Broomfield into a political battleground over oil and gas development – again,” he says as the video opens. “Well enough is enough.”

We assume that note you can see above that Owens was once the head of the Colorado Petroleum Association is supposed to be disclosure of the fact that he is not exactly a disinterested observer. But it’s also ancient history, a job Owens had literally decades ago. Much more relevant to voters in Broomfield would be Owens’ current job as a senior director in the lobbying office of Greenberg Traurig, the politically connected law firm made infamous by criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Now, we don’t have a current list of Greenberg Traurig’s clients to know if any of them are a party to the controversy over oil and gas drilling near residential areas in Broomfield, but somebody should probably ask–after all, the firm’s energy division has dozens of full-time attorneys. Even if there’s no direct client relationship, readers know that energy interests sweat every single one of these popular vote proposals to restrict drilling, working overtime to defeat them in order to avoid ugly legal battles afterward that only leave the industry more unpopular.

We doubt there are very many voters in Broomfield who read the Colorado Springs Gazette, but writing a story that omits the one thing that really needs to be disclosed about the subject doesn’t help anyone sort out the facts here.

Which, considering the source, probably wasn’t an accident.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    What you're saying is, Bill Owens knows a lot about the issue. Agreed! I'm glad he's telling Broomfield residents the truth.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Well, he does know a lot about “deceiving” . . . 

    • flatiron says:

      the truth about what? that state law forces the  city to allow industrial oil rigs to locate next to houses and schools? that to help the residents the city has to give up its preserved open space to accommodate the oil company? That never never ever could a rig catch fire (see Brighton) or blow up a house and its innocent occupants (Firestone)? That Hickenlooper favors the industry over people's homes and schools? That laws written by the extraction industry to allow unfettered harvesting of oil (via forced pooling) should supersede local control?

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Also "consider the source?" Who do you think you are, Colorado Pols? Walter Cronkite?

  3. lilyflower says:

    I never thought I would miss George Bush but I do.  It is a sad statement.

  4. Kelbrom says:

    I attended the Broomfield City Council meeting Tuesday night and there were other outside of Broomfield state senators and lawyers who stood up and basically said "Hey oil and gas is sooo nice they have agreed to remove 1 of the 19 harmful chemicals from their frack water and will use level 2 drills (Level 4 was requested and Level 2 had VOC air quality issues) and reduced the wells from I think it was 110 to 99 (it was a minimal number), its just so amazing they did this go ahead and let them frack".  I feel like I am living in a nightmare conspiracy its awful.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      "Amazing" is a word often heard when describing the things the Oily Boys can get away with in this state.

      Every Colorado governor since anyone can remember was either working in or bought by the oil and gas industry. There was one exception…Bill Ritter. It is worth noting that it was during his tenure that HB 1341 was passed..which established a new balance between the industry and the citizens it exploits.

      The industry has always held sway by owning the 1st floor of the Capitol, and buying the county commissions of the places they operate. This effectively cuts off the primary statutory channel of redress for offenses perpetrated by the petro-pirates who have mastered the art of subverting regulation.

      For many years I had the unfortunate task of explaining all the amazing things they,  citizens and their communities, were about to experience as oil and gas development moved in on them. "No…that can't be right!…they can't do that!…can they?". Well…yes they can…and yeah..it is pretty amazing.

    • Genghis says:

      You're a better person than I am. Couldn't bring myself to attend yet another of these oil and gas industry public circle jerks. The industry has gotten super bored with blowing people to bits in the Firestone area and is redoubling its efforts to expand operations here in Broomfield.

      I'd like to think 301 has a good shot at passing, but who knows. The number of dumbasses around these parts who actually seem to believe in the "give the industry whatever it wants or end up living as squatting savages in a Hobbesian state of nature" false dichotomy is breathtaking.

  5. gertie97 says:

    Funny how the oily boys brag about Colorado having the toughest regs in the nation as they cheerfully go about undermining them.

  6. Genghis says:

    Bill Owens hasn't even READ 301. But hey, pontificating on shit about which one knows nothing is the COGA way. Ol' Billy is nothing if not a dutiful little industry whore.

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