What happens when a billion dollar industry supported by hunters meets the oil industry?

oil spillby jenny downing

Oil and Gas Disasters Raise The Ire of Colorado Hunters
[Via DeSmogBlog – Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science]

The Bull Moose Sportsmen Alliance in Colorado has set their sights on the oil and gas industry. In a new report, the hunting and fishing group highlights the damage that the dirty energy industry has done to their hunting and fishing grounds for years. Among the more damning findings are the fact that there are over 100 oil spills every year in just three counties in Colorado – Garfield, Mesa, and Rio Blanco. The state of Colorado has confirmed that no fewer than 77 of these spills managed to taint water supplies of the three counties. These spills combined have leaked more than 5.6 million gallons of oil into the lands that the Bull Moose Sportsmen Alliance works to preserve.

As the Alliance points out, the hunting and fishing industry in Colorado brings in more than $1.2 billion a year, making it more profitable than the sports industry in the state, which includes NFL, NBA, and MLB teams. But thanks to the reckless oil and gas industry, the ecosystems and habitat that hunters and fishermen spend that billion-plus dollars to enjoy are threatened.

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This is not some liberal tree hugger group. Here is their complete agenda:

Conservation
Promote conservation and science-based wildlife and habitat management policies.

Participation
Identify and promote opportunities for recruitment and retention of hunters and anglers.

Second Amendment Rights
Protect Second Amendment rights for sportsmen.

Does the rush for more oil seems to exacerbate problems in the process for retrieving it? Spills may be part of the process but, are there ways to reduce this? We do know that, as we saw last year, there are ways to make it worse.

Wasting the oil in these ways may have been acceptable back in the day when there was lots of it. But wasting oil in a spill does not seem to make much sense today. At $100 a barrel, the amount lost is over $13 million. Perhaps not a lot but those millions add up.

Especially if that $13 million ruins a billion dollar industry.

Is this just the cost of doing business or are there better approaches, ones that will be more win-win rather than zero-sum?