Jim Wilson Letter to the Editor

Jim Wilson wrote this letter to the editor of the Times Call this week.  He makes a couple of points in his letter. First, he calls out Gov Hickenlooper for saying that if each municipality had its own rules to cover fracking, that there would be chaos.  Mr. Wilson points out that other industries with localized regulations exist, yet no chaos has come with those situations.  I think he makes a good point.  I also think Gov Hickenlooper is overstating the “chaos” that would be caused with local regulation.  Companies hire people whose job is solely to interpret local regulations for their industries, and I can’t imagine it would be all that difficult to do the same when it comes to fracking. 

Mr. Wilson then goes on to call out those who work in the industry that say they live in the community as well and have kids in the community attending schools.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wilson says the following:

“Most of these folks live in exclusive neighborhoods far from the wells. I challenge any of these gas people to move to a middle-class or poor neighborhood where they will have a well in their backyard. I challenge them to take their children out of the private schools they attend and let them go to local neighborhood public schools where wells are being located. “Here” to these folks is not where most of us live.”

These are the statements I take issue with.  How, exactly, does Mr. Wilson know where “these gas people” live?  How does he know that they send their children to private schools?  Sadly, these statements further perpetuate the stereotype that liberals are interested in creating class warfare, and making the assumptions of where “these people” live and where they send their kids to school is just being presumptuous.  I’m sure his intent wasn’t to further the stereotype, but in the end, he did just that.

Mr. Wilson, you had some great points, but you didn’t quite make it through without crossing over into emotionalism and hyperbole to argue your position.  Here’s hoping that fracking can be regulated locally while still allowing “these people” to live where they choose and send their kids to the schools they choose.