November 24, 2007

It is Easy to Dislike Zealots

Yesterday, the Aspen Daily News published Enviros up pressure on Ritter over the Roan.

In it appeared the following curious comment:

In addition to species like deer and elk, the Roan is also home to some rare populations of native cutthroat trout.

That has raised concerns among anglers. “They’re a pretty unique population of fish up there,” said Ken Neubecker, vice president of Colorado Trout Unlimited. “Right now, while they’ve survived thousands of years in these small populations, a single accident up there, either from stormwater discharge or a tanker truck spill, could wipe these populations out. There’s no need to rush into this and go after this gas.”

Neubecker is simply putting out false propaganda for those who don't bother to think. Since when does the gas industry use tanker trucks to remove gas from a gas field? It is possible to liquefy gas, but that requires that its temperature be lowered in complex plants that no one is suggesting will be used at any point in the process, either on the Roan Plateau or elsewhere.

Storm water discharge would only be a problem if liquid byproducts (water) of gas production were being stored on the plateau. It is entirely possible that the liquid byproducts will be potable, and unlikely that they will be stored on the plateau if they are not. If the water turns out to be potable, as has happened elsewhere in Colorado, expect the fight not to be over storm water discharge, but over the rights to this new water source.

Another Zealot put out another lie:

"It only makes sense, I think, to go slow on developing resources like the Roan,” said [ Claire ] Bastable, [ conservation director for the Colorado Mountain Club ] who said most of the gas leases already approved haven’t been drilled on yet. “We’re in no danger of losing revenue.”

A very reasonable plan has been worked out over the years to develop the Roan in 350 acre segments with the requirement that each segment be restored before moving to the next one. It is difficult to see how that plan could be modified to go slower and still recover the gas. It turns out that Bastable has no interest in "going slow." She wants to stop it entirely.

We have written elsewhere how the threat that Bill Ritter, Mark Udall, Ken Salazar, and John Salazar will succeed in making gas leases less valuable through regulation and prohibition makes energy companies less willing to pay top dollar for the leases. If people like Bastable and her organization want to keep claiming that their actions aren't losing the state revenue, let them post a bond to ensure that their claim is true. So much money is involved that they would find they couldn't afford it.

A reminder is in order: The Aspen Daily News has a strange archive system that may make the link stop operating. If that happens, do a google search on the title, which we provided.

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