Colorado’s resort communities are usually full of politicians who demagogue the oil and gas industry. This is not the case with the new Routt County Board of Commissioners. Commissioners Tim Corrigan and Steve Ivancie joined incumbent Commissioner Doug Monger after being sworn in January 2013 and December 2012, respectively.
The three of them already have injected a welcome tone of level-headed pragmatism as it relates to oil well permits. During a recent hearing, Commissioner Corrigan acknowledged Routt County has little authority to regulate things like wildlife that are the responsibility of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. At the same time, Commissioner Corrigan also voiced grave concern about wildlife issues and criticized state and federal authorities for their shortcomings.
The new commissioners seem to understand they can use their position as commissioners to bring visibility to issues they care about without unnecessarily steering Routt County taxpayers into legal and regulatory purgatory. At the same hearing, the new commissioners asked staff to eliminate wasteful, redundant and/or duplicative regulations on the oil permit, and that’s just what they did. They didn’t do so because they like oil and gas companies — in all likelihood they probably don’t. But the new commission seems to understand that in a nation of laws, government must treat all individuals in a fair and equitable manner, whether they’re developers, restaurant owners, car dealers or, gulp, oil and gas companies.
On behalf of the nearly 100 members of Citizens Supporting Property Rights, we applaud the new Board of County Commissioners for an important first step away from politics and toward practical public policy.
Harry Thompson, Steve Elkins, Amy Williams and Jody Camilletti
On behalf of Citizens Supporting Property Rights