The Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force has finalized its recommendations and the rule-making process. Even before implementation, concerns have been expressed by industry, environmental groups, policy makers and local governments.
The greatest focus of attention is on rules 17 and 20 that focus on the permitting process and the role of local governments in large facilities located in Urban Mitigation Areas. These rules grant more input from local communities along with existing rules that allow for memorandums of understanding in addressing specific concerns of local communities.
A deliberate process that results in neither party being completely satisfied, points to compromise. That seems to be the case with the most discussed rules. There is a temptation for policymakers to disregard the time, effort and collaboration of the process and charge ahead with solutions that reflect their own views or those of a small subset of citizens.
The Governor’s Task Force was an agreed upon “compromise” to ballot measures during the last general election. The Task Force represented diversity of the energy debate and took the time and effort to wade into some challenging arenas. The process involved input from citizens and meetings in various parts of the state. Let’s honor this process and allow sufficient time for the rules to be put into place.
Energy development is an area of vital concern for the economy of our state, the stewardship of our natural resources and protecting our quality of life. There will be time to make modifications in the future based on facts and not fears. Let’s give the rules a chance to work before jumping to hasty conclusions that sabotage the process.