August 26, 2017

Stirring the Pot

I need some help before I infuriate thousands of my neighbors. Please look this over. First a bit of backstory:

My town of Erie Colorado has been invaded by a diaspora of suburbanites fleeing the city of Boulder and Boulder County (the town straddles the county line). Like me, they fled exorbitant housing costs and gridlocked traffic. Unlike me, most want to import the same political solutions which created them. To understand the politics: most residents wish they lived in Boulder.

Against this backdrop, a home exploded in the neighboring community of Firestone. It is a horrible tragedy, killing two and seriously wounding another. It was caused by negligence on the part of oil and gas extraction firms. The victims had zero responsibility, and the devastation was dramatic, obliterating the complete structure.

Today a huge portion of the new residents, who dislike oil and gas to begin with, have combined legitimate concern (one day, your home is there and one day it is a pile of boards) with some manufactured outrage (legal methods to usurp property rights have all failed -- let's use this tragedy as a cudgel). In response, Weld County is providing home testing machines. My Erie neighbors are making a beeline to get them and complaining on Facebook that the commissioners underestimated demand.

Here -- at long last -- is my point. And I am tempted to put it on the Erie Facebook page and attract the slings and arrows of outrageous local Moms.

Dear Erie Neighbors:

Might I suggest that you reevaluate risk profiles before driving up to Greeley to get your home methane test kits?

The explosion in Firestone is a horrific tragedy -- all the more so because it was caused by negligence of energy extractors.

But there were 57 traffic fatalities in the County last year. If you drive 32 miles each way to pick up and again to return your test equipment, you are not only driving more than 120 needless miles, you are participating in an activity that is more than 25 times more dangerous than living in your untested Weld County home.

There were 99,226 "housing units" in the 2010 Census (many more now). While the explosion in Firestone was tragic, a serious accident mitigating this minute risk would be worse. Stay home. Fix the rickety back step. Get that medical test you've been putting off. All better moves than testing for methane.

Am I wrong? If I am right, is it worth it?

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at August 26, 2017 1:24 PM

Not wrong. Though I would suggest that they also use Amazon services and purchase their own kit vs using a free one. Surely the children are worth the $150 asked. Saving the free ones for those who can least afford them.
Just be sure you yourself have your protective gear available from the slings and arrows!

Posted by: Terri at August 27, 2017 9:59 AM

Or you could just suggest that they read the entire Greeley Trib article:

"There is a limit of one monitor per household, and county officials will give them out as long as there is demand."

Now, if they are actually asking for more than one monitor per household, tell them to pound (fracking) sand.

And while we're on the subject, I wonder if BoCo is offering these to residents on the Boulder side of the county line?

Posted by: johngalt at August 28, 2017 2:32 PM

Boulder clearly doesn't care that <remy_voice>people will die!</remy_voice>

The complaint is that their are not sufficient units for the number of households that want exactly one. (Innumeracy is more rampant than appreciated.)

Thanks, but I don't think I'll doe on this hill. I feel I should make a stand against the anti-extractors, but it should be on property rights, not misplaced risk.

On that end I was working on:

"What about the majority? Well, a majority of your neighbors would like to your home razed and replaced with a Broncos Cheerleaders' training facility. But we don't put that up for a vote because you have been paying your mortgage and taxes. These mineral rights predate you, so the owners are not bound to win an election to exercise them."

Better? Worse?

Posted by: jk at August 28, 2017 3:01 PM

Not sufficient units *where* for the number of households that want one? On Earth? Weld County has spent $1,901 to purchase monitors "to date." There is no cap on available units other than - "as long as there is demand."

Or is the Trib wrong?

On your "majority" argument, it's way too complicated. Modern suburbanites expect everything, for nothing, immediately and always. Capiche?

Posted by: johngalt at August 28, 2017 3:31 PM

You want to wait until a unit becomes available? When your house is about to explode? Have you no children?

Posted by: jk at August 29, 2017 11:28 AM | What do you think? [5]