I have worked in the oil field in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and in the gas fields of Colorado’s Piceance Basin, and my dad prospected for uranium here in the early 1950s. I enjoy driving by the drillers at work at the anticline south of Crescent Junction (though I wouldn’t want a tourist to see a derrick when looking through an arch). So I get a little irked when I hear that people who don’t support the coalition of counties are anti-progress, anti-resource development, unemployed and so forth.
There are valid points on both sides of the issue; however, there is one concern that I believe towers above all others. My understanding of the wording is that by joining, Grand County gives away the authority to make certain decisions regarding development in our county, to the wants and aspirations of the other counties, even without needing our consent. That provision alone seems highly unreasonable and risky ― a deal killer. How can anyone believe in less government control, yet relinquish control to outside parties that have their own county interests in mind? In fact, why did the other counties submit to this agreement, which also takes away their rights? Every county in the coalition should have veto power over projects impacting them, one would think. That way, any project approved would be sure to be in the best interests of the people in every county. That is an alliance I could accept ― maybe Grand County could initiate one?
I implore everyone who supports this measure to reconsider their position. Anyone who values his or her right to self-determination should be strongly against joining this coalition in its current form. In addition, there is nothing preventing us from joining with them on project proposals, but on our terms. “We hold that each man [and county] is the best judge of his own interest.” ― John Adams