I’ve lived for 30 years 20 minutes away from the Grizzly Creek Fire which shutdown down I-70 for 2 weeks. I speak for myself. May I ask the commissioners who have worked in the oil & gas industry to raise your hands? I apologize to you. And I share for all of us a simple way to say I’m sorry. Why/because/and.
Why am I sorry? I/we have failed to notice the signs of our crashing climate sufficiently. I am sorry that jobs attached to the oil & gas industry have been so subsidized, skewing market forces. I am sorry that so many children and citizens suffer from lung disease and cancers caused from oil & gas extraction. I am sorry that oil & gas lobbyists influence politicians funding their campaigns.
What part of this are we sorry for in this pandemic pause?
To the oil & gas employees who will testify after me, I am sorry.
We the people have failed you. You have talent, skills, and training. And if you and the companies you work for used them in a renewable, sustainable way might we both supply energy we use and not toxify our air?
or waste 13-15 million gallons of water per fracked horizontal drilling?
or wreck the land and soils that your rigs sit upon and run through? Congratulations to the oil & gas industry on your efficiency!
But it is killing us.
There is no economy in a community that is sick, dying, and dead.
I’ve been in isolation for 6 months recovering from COVID.
I’ve stopped flying. I’ve taken the insurance off my car and have not driven for 6 months. I know what it is to struggle to find breath. I am a long-hauler.
I walked across the country in the Great March for Climate Action in 2014.
From one end of Colorado to the other and upclose to the oil & gas infrastructure destruction,
I smelled the odorous gases,
I heard the loud noises,
I sucked in that air,
I wondered about the wasted water,
I cried for the animals and their disturbed places,
I saw how unfairly located these were next to poor neighborhoods.
I am so sorry. Because we were ignorant. And we can rethink our way of living now. Individual actions alone are simply not enough. We need you to make urgent and radical rethinking of policies that will transition this sector this decade for Colorado. Thank you for listening.