The Left Can Learn A Lot From John Hickenlooper

The Left Can Learn A Lot From John Hickenlooper

March 4, 2019

Former two-term Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced today that he is joining the 2020 presidential race and will seek the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Unlike pretty much every left-wing candidate that has announced so far, Governor Hickenlooper has made reasonable, pro-energy policy a hallmark of his tenure. It begs the question – can a politician who brought immense economic prosperity to his state through energy development appeal to liberal base voters? Hickenlooper is setting up a fascinating experiment.

In Colorado, John Hickenlooper has been known as a moderate thanks to his pro-energy philosophy.  In recent years, Colorado has become an economic miracle and an example for the rest of the nation, in large part because of the state’s booming energy industry and resulting job growth. Colorado doubled its natural gas output since 2001, and it is now one of the top five natural gas producing states in the nation.

Hickenlooper supported the energy industry and used his influence to defend it from environmental extremists. In his memoir, Hickenlooper even defended responsible energy extraction, writing, “Based on experience and science, I recognized that fracking was one of our very best and safest extraction techniques. Fracking is good for the country’s energy supply, our national security, our economy, and our environment.”

Hickenlooper sounds authoritative on this topic because he knows the science firsthand, since he was a petroleum geologist before entering politics. He explains, “Early critics of mine were right about this much: my background as an oil and gas geologist did influence my perspective. I understand the evolution of hydraulic fracturing. I knew that the innovations in technology, everything from the hydraulic fracking systems to the fluid, had become so advanced that it was a remarkably safe extraction method.”

Governor Hickenlooper’s approach to energy policy in Colorado was refreshing. He focused on science, not scare tactics and fear-mongering, and the people of his state were better off for it.

Hopefully, John Hickenlooper can spread some of his wisdom to a liberal base that seems willing to parrot any Tom Steyer or Sierra Club talking point they hear without thinking. The Hickenlooper experiment will tell us whether the left can still be reasonable on energy policy.

For America’s sake, we pray they can.