I may be a Democrat, but elephants have fascinated me since I was a kid. They were my favorites when we visited the zoo, and there was a brief moment that I was highly incensed that my parents wouldn't let me have one as a pet. And you have to admit, their babies are the absolute cutest! Over the years I've enjoyed all the PBS shows and other presentations about elephants, and I share the concerns over their diminishing numbers.
So, I'm sitting here waiting for a callback. Channel-surfing, ah, a show about elephants! Group of men observing, then one raises a gun and fires, the elephant drops. The men approach it, and I'm waiting for one of them to explain how long the tranquilizer will be in effect. To my shock and horror, they begin congratulating themselves on the kill, praising the glorious gun and ammo that got the job done, slapping each other on the back for their big-bad-hunter status as they run their hands up and down the magnificent tusks that will add value to their trophy.
God help me, I wanted to take that damned rifle and wrap it around each one of those chest-thumping assholes. Hunting for food is one thing. Hunting for trophies is just fucking sick sick sick.
I don't understand this. I just don't. And I don't think I want to.
Today in Greeley, the city at the heart of Colorados Front Range frack country, a seven-member planning commission will consider a proposal by oil-and-gas company Synergy to add three more well-drilling facilities and related equipment to a site already being drilled in a scenic residential neighborhood roughly three miles from the city center. Synergy is one of the companies working the booming business in natural-gas extraction in the Wattenberg Field, which stretches under most of north-east Colorado. The boom is mostly the product of the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing, the extraction technique where millions of gallons of frack fluid a mixture of water, chemicals and sand is blasted deep into the earth to free trapped gas.
In the last few years, residents in cities across the region have raised concerns about the dangers the heavy-industrial activity might pose to public health as it encroaches on residential areas and how it may also be diminishing above-ground real estate values. In the last twelve months, Front Range cities like Broomfield, Fort Collins, Lafayette, Longmont and Loveland have passed drilling bans and moratoriums, at least until more research is concluded on the effects fracking is visiting on the populations. The movement to limit drilling has met fierce resistance from oil and gas companies. For now, there is no ban or moratorium in Greeley. Indeed, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in May approved proposals to drill more than a hundred new wells within Greeley city limits.
Greeleys planning commission is tasked with considering zoning and development questions but it also represents residents on matters of air-quality and natural-resource protection. There are now thousands of gas wells being worked all around the traditionally agricultural town in Weld County. Maps of area wells show Greeley as a shrinking donut hole surrounded by drilling.
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