The oil industry certainly benefits some people in our county and also many who live out-of-state … and some as far away as wealthy investors in China. But there are far more residents and taxpayers in our county whose lives and livings may be negatively impacted by this industry.
Its essence is antithetical to clean air and water, and to the well-being of the environment and its ecosystems. Further, when the inevitable accidents occur and when the industry’s disregard and disdain for responsible practices are manifest, the harm is multiplied.
By mission, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, aka DOGGR, is intended to both regulate and promote oil industry operations. How can the industry be effectively managed in the public interest while its regulator is tied to the growth of that very industry?
While individual employees of the division may apply their expertise and efforts to work conscientiously to serve the public, DOGGR’s track record is, in a word, appalling.
How many of our regulators in DOGGR have worked in the oil industry? Or now have family members with financial connections to it? Can they be fair and impartial?
How well-oiled is the revolving door of employment between these companies and DOGGR?