(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Talk's not cheap. Not if House Republicans led by Congressman Doug Lamborn get their wish.
Make no mistake, the sole purpose of the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, introduced by Congressman Lamborn, is to make it easier for oil and gas companies to drill on public land. In fact, so easy that a permit would be automatically approved if the Department of Interior failed to act in 60 days. All this while recent polling reflects a much different mood in the West: only 35 percent said that more public lands should be opened to “responsible energy development.”
It's what money buys today on Capitol Hill.
The kicker? If you want to file a protest, you'll have to pony up $5,000.00
But the Congressman didn't stop there: his bill also directs the Department of Interior to commence commercial leasing of oil shale – a practice banned since the days of Herbert Hoover – and not to be confused with the more common shale oil.
Oh, how the Congressman longs for the days of Hoover. It was just so much easier then for white men, hell-bent on burning that black gold formed millions of years ago to exert their dominion over the Earth. They poisoned an unsuspecting public the old-fashioned way then: with lead paint, PBB, PCB and dioxins, unencumbered by a skeptical and informed public or concerns over rapidly-depleting natural resources – or a collapsing climate.
As our departed friend Randy Udall often said about the resource:
“there is three times more energy in a ton of Captain Crunch than there is in a ton of oil shale."
On second thought, things really haven't changed all that much at all. While those like the Congressman yearn for how things used to be – the rest of us are dreaming of the new exit on the Ronald Reagan Highway – one named "The Future".
Under your proposed legislation the government would be mandated to offer 10 leases on federal land in 2014. Before 2016, they would be required to hold 5 commercial lease sales of federal lands for oil shale development, each, no less than 25,000 acres. 125,000 acres of federal land in total.
Interestingly enough, Colorado Springs encompasses 194.7 square miles, which equates to 124, 608 acres.
Here's an idea Congressman: let's propose we turn your own city in to this national sacrifice zone. We'll find someone to donate the 382 acres so that you're compliant with your 125,000 acre federal mandate. It only takes 3-5 barrels of fresh water to produce one barrel of oil shale. You shouldn't have any problem pulling that off in your own back yard.
Oh, wait – Colorado Springs is in a Stage II water shortage, described by its City Council as a crisis.
It's hard to miss the irony that the epicenter of your Congressional District is a microcosm for the same water challenges that would befall the industry you're trying to revive.
I have a suggestion for you when you're home next week giving thanks: head up the hill to Woodland Park and spend 30 minutes over coffee with Eddie Sturman, one of your constituents that Amory Lovins calls one of the smartest men on the planet on energy issues, engine technology and fuel diversity. Complete with a technology facility that is like none-other on the planet. It's right under your nose.
Stop wasting your district's precious human resources – and start acting like a man who represents one of the most beautiful cities in the Rocky Mountain West – a city worthy of a 21st-century energy vision. A city with the potential to be so much more. A military complex committed to a very different future -one that doesn't involve melting rocks.
Your region lacks nothing but a visionary leader – and a $5,000.00 check. Stop looking back – we're not going that way.