This is comment on the Herald’s Nov. 18 editorial about Gwen Lachelt and its stance on her position as Western Leaders Network director.
Amazingly, the Herald is concerned that such inflammatory words as “sustainable” and “resilient” are now associated with Commissioner Lachelt, and so will “prevent dialogue” with the oil and gas industry, as they “carry bias.” So now, “When a county meeting is called to deal with some aspect of industry impacts, will energy representatives hesitate to participate?”
Whoa! “Sustainable!” “Resilient!” Can “accountability” be next? Hope not, as the industry will definitely not like that. And now evidently, doing what does not upset the industry is what a county commissioner must do.
Our La Plata County community is no longer unique. Time was, The Durango Herald presented independent thought when it came to the industry’s presence and impact here, which has been in many cases, devastating. But as has happened elsewhere across Colorado, starting with the Denver Post, much to the detriment of our citizenry and for whatever reasons, the paper has allowed the oil and gas industry to gain control of the Herald’s own editorial board and direct its editorial comment.
And now La Plata County is no longer unique among community newspapers. That is as shameful a falling as has ever happened in our community. If there is something the industry cannot abide, it is someone who speaks the truth about them.
Gwen, keep speaking truth to power. Set an example for the Herald.