Sorry Hick: No Room For You In The Inn Of Eco-Extremists
This morning in New Hampshire, outgoing Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper let the cat out of the bag when he told a Granite State voter that he was running for president. He quickly tried to walk it back, but the entire telling exchange was captured by WMUR’s Adam Sexton.
Hickenlooper faces a barrage of political obstacles once he officially jumps into the presidential waters: a crowded field of well-known and better-funded candidates, an electorate increasingly focused on gender and racial politics and a mild-mannered personality not bursting at the scenes with anger like the rest of the liberal left.
Equally problematic for Hickenlooper, in the words of a column from the Colorado Springs Gazette, is the fact that he is “definitely a moderate for his business views, especially even-keeled on energy.”
Don’t get us wrong. At Power The Future, we applaud anyone on either side of the aisle willing to stand up for the energy producers that keep our lights on and provide good-paying jobs. But that is not a popular view with the loony left where standing up for the energy industry is akin to being the turd in the punch bowl.
Consider: Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders, who was recently stumping in Colorado on behalf of Jared Polis, has called for a total ban on fracking across the country. Makes for a snappy sound bite, but it would have a disastrous impact in Colorado where estimates from researchers at the University of Colorado have predicted that a reduction in new oil and gas production could cost the state economy over $14 billion and 104,000 jobs by 2031.
Hickenlooper, however, has struck a different tone. As Power The Future wrote in a guest column earlier this month for the Durango Herald, “Hickenlooper has been less antagonistic to energy. The governor chose oil and gas development over protecting sage grouse, a position that rankled many on the left. In Colorado, he has brokered legislation to encourage energy investment from traditional sources – as he put it, ‘not just renewable energy.’ And unlike many leading Dems, he has refused to make the energy industry his political boogeyman.”
It would be nice if more on the left at least tried to chart a more moderate approach, but that doesn’t appear to be in the tea leaves. In Colorado, eco-extremists like the Sierra Club are taking over. That’s worrisome for anyone who cares about our energy industry, and even more problematic for Hickenlooper’s political fortunes.