Originally Posted by wesintl
I haven't decided either...
I'm not under the assumption that leasing public lands to gas and oil companies means it's off limits. If drilling means less need for foreign product, then i'm all for it.
I would agree with you IF it was worth the cost. But the geologists for the state DNR have estimated, at the current rate of consumption, *IF* all the oil under Colorado could be extracted and refined into gasoline, it would amount to a 1 week supply.
None of the extraction business operating in this state are Colorado owned and most are foreign owned. The extraction industry pays billions of $$ a year, in royalties, to the state and (mostly) federal government. Royalties paid by the extraction companies is put into the state and federal general funds. By the time it trickles down into local land managers budgets it doesn't cover the cost of the improvements (read roads) that land managers build to allow the extraction industry access to the mineral resources. There is no guarantee that any roads created will remain open for recreation. There is millions$$ of backlog of maintenance on roads that are open for recreational use. What little money land managers have would be put to better use maintaining and reconnecting Colorado's recreational roads and trails.
In 1988 recreational tourism surpassed extraction as CO's #1 industry, and has seen steady sustainable growth ever since. The $$$'s contributed directly to CO's economy and The full time year round jobs created by, the recreational use of Arapaho/Roosevelt National forest alone is more than the extraction industries contribution from the entire state. Add in the recreation/tourism $$ from CO's other National Forests and you can see CO's greatest natural resource is above ground and not beneath it.