July 2, 2017-
In response to Ryan Cangiolosi’s opinion piece published in the June 4 Observer, I want to set the record straight about why local communities should have a voice when it comes to oil and gas rules and safeguards. What Cangiolosi either misunderstood or mischaracterized as a “political divide” as the motivation for Sandoval County residents’ push for strong oil and gas safeguards in our community is simply an emphasis on people. Residents in Sandoval County want to have a say in how oil and gas development happens in their community.
Instead, Cangiolosi advocates for state-level pre-emption for oil and gas rules. In legislative terms, pre-emption means bigger government excluding counties and cities from having any say about an issue. To understand what’s at stake, remember an economic concept called “externalization of costs.” This means getting somebody else to pay for your true costs of doing business. Expecting taxpayers to foot the bill to upgrade roads for oil tankers is a common example. Externalization can also be hidden — when a rogue driller walks away from contaminated soil and water, the costs fall on the citizens.