I've been talking about the Roan Plateau, hunting, fishing and the extractive industries since'05. Well, I thought we were out of the woods when we won the house and the Senate in '06. I thought there was no way that a Democratic controlled Congress would go against Rep. Salazar (D-CO CD3), Senator Salazar, and Mark Udall (D-CO CD2).
I guess this is the way Pelosi and Reid lead.
WASHINGTON — Legislation that would have barred surface drilling on Colorado's Roan Plateau and limited oil-shale development in the state was left out of a major energy package poised to pass the House today.
The fight over the Roan now shifts to the Senate, where Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., says he will seek a one-year moratorium on Roan drilling. But his effort is unlikely to happen until after the new year.
Meanwhile, a political slugfest erupted Wednesday over questions about the 3,500-foot mesa in northwestern Colorado and the motivations for protecting it.
More below the fold.
Schwietzer, the Salazar brothers, John Tester and the Udall clan know how to win in the Rocky Mountain Region. Courting the hook and bullet crowd is key to the strategy. Everyone knows it, but Reid and Pelosi need to support their Rocky Mountain colleagues or the gains can and will evaporate.
Ed Gentry is the outdoor writer for the Rocky Mountain News. His column from early November didn't talk about the Roan protections explicitly, but a this kind of hits the nail on the head.
The good news is that many hunters and anglers finally are mad as hell and won't take it anymore. After the loss of 4 million acres of public hunting and fishing range in the West to the current drilling frenzy, some realize who the anti-hunters really are.
Keith Goddard is an outfitter that guides hunts on the Roan. He'll lose his business, but who cares.
"We've killed a lot of good bulls up here," he said wistfully, like someone thinking of retiring. "We used to have a lot of deer. Not anymore."
Goddard says hunters who've been coming to the Roan for 30 years have sworn off because of noise, traffic, trash and the loss of a "quality experience."
He says he's tired of the mad rush to drill without regard for environmental consequences before the political wind changes.
"They just don't do it responsibly," he said. "If it was any other industry than oil and gas, they'd throw them under the prison."
John Salazar is a Rocky Mountain Democrat. He won in '04 in a heavily Republican district on the Western Slope. He knows what's up:
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John T. Salazar (CO-3) today submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Roan Plateau Planning Area. Emphasizing that the ultimate priority should be placed on the community’s concerns, Salazar submitted five recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management:
1 – not approve any drilling on top of the Roan Plateau;
2 – analyze and incorporate the measures of the “Community Alternative” whereappropriate;
3 – provide adequate spacing between gas wells and other mitigation plans;
4 – analyze implications on livestock grazing levels; and
5 – provide for full water quality monitoring.
This is stupid politics, bad environmental policy, and another example of Pelosi and Reid's piss poor leadership. Maybe they can pass a gun ban right before the election. I think that would help out the Colorado delegation. Remember, the Democratic Convention is in Denver. It would be nice if you could take care of the Colorado delegation and help the Rocky Mountain Region win the majorities you need to get something done.
The West can deliver in '08, but the Democratic leadership in D.C. need to figure out the message that wins and support it. The Colorado delegation knows what wins, but we need the Democratic leadership to pull their heads out of their asses.
Per Skulnick, contact information fro Reid and Pelosi:
Reid: Phone: 202-224-3542 / Fax: 202-224-7327
Pelosi: (202) 225-4965