4445 Northpark Drive, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
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No to Oil & Gas Drilling

12/08/12 at 08:05 PM

It’s a good thing I’m not a politician [I’m merely a citizen currently holding elective office] because I’m likely committing political suicide with this announcement.

When called at the next city council, I will not vote to support the currently proposed ordinance 12-106 amending section 103 (permitted, conditional and accessory uses) of part 1 (residential districts) section 203 (permitted, conditional and accessory uses) of part 2 (commercial districts) of Article 3 (land use zoning districts) section 906 (appeals) of part 9 (notice, hearings and appeals) and creating a new part 17 (oil and gas regulations) of article 5 (administration and procedures) of chapter 7 (planning, development and building) of the code of the city of Colorado Springs, 2001, as amended, pertaining to oil and gas regulations.

My rationale is simple.  I don’t agree that we should allow drilling in residential zones or other softly-zoned areas we prize highly inside the city limits.

On its face, I’m not convinced that drilling is benign and no pollution emanates from the operation.  And while I’m willing to concede and accept some pollution as a necessary by-product of industrial production, and that we need some industrial production to maintain and grow jobs locally, I don’t feel we’ve fully explored all our options.  This ordinance is not our best foot forward.  This ordinance is an example of bad policy and bad government. 

We provide hard zoning and careful regulation for all manner of manufacturer, industrial producers, churches [and other places of assembly], auto body maintenance, repair and sales, pot and liquor and porn, etc. - all away from schools and homes and places we prize highly.  To not similarly regulate all intrusive industrial uses [in this specific case, oil & gas drilling] inside the city limits is so contradictory to common sense that I can’t believe we’ve let this part of the conversation slip away on the backs of emotion and hyperbole.   

To allow drilling in highly prized zones, [where we live, work, educate and play], tells me we’ve lost our soul and that we value drilling and profit more highly than culture and lifestyle. 

I acknowledge our current dependence on foreign oil and our concomitant need for domestic production.  But, our need for domestic production is not so critical that I’m unnecessarily willing to install an oil derrick in my own back yard.  And, if I’m not willing to live next to a drill-rig or production facility, how can I (with a straight face) expect others to? 

I encourage drilling and I’d quickly vote to approve this ordinance with amended language saying we won’t allow drilling in residential or similar highly prized zones inside the city limits. 

Pay attention.  Be informed.  Make a difference.  Keep it real.