Mountain States

A Geography Lesson for DeSmog Blog

In case you had any lingering doubts that ‘local’ activist groups are anything but, let us add one more example to the ever-growing list.

A columnist named Farron Cousins recently wrote a piece for the anti-industry website, DeSmog Blog. While the piece reads like an advertisement for trial lawyer services (Cousins conveniently happens to be the editor of The Trial Lawyer Magazine in his spare time), he also claims that the “dirty energy industry” had been responsible for overturning a ban on fracking within Fort Collins’ city limits.

Cousins then included a quote from Energy in Depth. Here’s the quote:

“The debate in Boulder County should focus on the facts, and the robust and responsible regulations that are already enforced by the state of Colorado, not reckless claims by ideologically motivated activist groups.”

Great quote, right? We thought so, and it remains sage advice for Boulder County. The problem for Cousins, though, is that Fort Collins isn’t in Boulder County. It’s in Larimer County.

That EID quote was pulled from another story, about another moratorium that had been lifted. That’s the trend here, for those of us actually living in Colorado: Local governments are recognizing that oil and gas development can be done safely, and indeed has been done safely for decades in our state. As such, bans and moratoria are senseless policies.

To be fair, Cousins has no idea what’s going on in Colorado because he doesn’t live anywhere near here. And despite his self-proclaimed MENSA status, he apparently didn’t think to Google where Fort Collins is located, or to check out the source of our quote.

Sadly, we’ve become used to this kind of sloppiness from environmental activists. In fact, you could say they routinely show an open contempt for the facts.

For example, another lawyer-friendly group that shares Cousins’ outlook on energy and environmental policy just got caught openly mocking science.

Dave Quast, EID’s California field director, uncovered some eye-popping remarks from the Center for Biological Diversity’s executive director, Kierán Suckling. From Dave’s op-ed in the Sacramento Bee:

Science and the law mean nothing to the CBD compared with raw politics. Just ask Kierán Suckling, the group’s executive director.

“The core talent of a successful environmental activist is not science and law,” Suckling said in a 2009 interview with the High Country News. “It’s campaigning instinct.” In the same interview, Suckling even bragged about his staff’s lack of scientific qualifications.

“It was a key to our success,” Suckling said. “I’m more interested in hiring philosophers, linguists and poets.”

Energy in Depth has always known that activists are out-of-touch (and out of state!), but they sure aren’t making any attempt to hide it or change it.


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