What kind of community do we want to live in; a community beholden to the lords of yesterday or a community ready to thrive in the present and future?
Extractive industries are a legacy industry. Resource owners will develop them if profitable, but as we know from the current bust and the busts of old, we still need to feed our families no matter the price of gas in New York. Many resource owners are outsiders who really don’t care about the people who live here and their development choices show it. I guarantee you they don’t have a well in their backyards.
So we must find a new way going forward. We cannot sacrifice a safe and healthy future for short-term gains that mostly benefit outsiders who shift externalities on to us. We need sustainable economic development.
We know renewable energy is the key to this future and we can encourage development through grants and assistance programs that helps train a workforce while simultaneously attracting business to use that talent pool.
We know that our dysfunctional approach to transportation has left clear winners and losers and we need to more fully cooperate with existing transit providers to expand frequent bus service down the I-70 corridor.
We also know that many of the newest jobs do not require physical commuting at all, but require Internet speeds that many in the county just do not have. We can support partners in the public and private sectors to support real broadband access to everyone in the county.
Government alone cannot provide a wholly sufficient solution to ensure that everyone one in our community has a good career that can support a family, but we can sow the field with the seeds of sustainable development.