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Oil and gas exploration could bring jobs to our area, but at what cost? City Council has decided to adopt rules for drilling within city limits, but what happens outside city limits could affect us, too. Will the rules be too strict, or not strict enough?

click to enlarge Dennis Williams

Dennis Williams of the northwest side works in plumbing and excavation

Do you think the city needs to make rules for oil and gas drilling? Yes. If it's not governed, it will get out of hand. Even if it is governed, people will push the limits of the rules.

What comes to mind when I say the word "fracking"? Underground fracturing of the shale. Once you drill down, you have to force materials in to crack the ground.

Couldn't that hurt the environment? No, it's safe. It's too deep to affect the environment.

Do you see lots of new job creation? I hope so. We need industry here. We've lost a lot of jobs, and future jobs need to come from industry and manufacturing. We need more than just the military.

In 20 years, what do you think will be our main source of energy? I hope it's electric, and that we can store it. I know they're getting close to figuring that out.

click to enlarge Sean Brown

Sean Brown from San Diego is unemployed

Colorado might soon be using fracking to explore for oil. What are you thoughts on that? Honestly, I don't know what that is.

It's fracturing layers of shale under the earth's surface to extract oil and gas. Oh. Well, it seems like developing wind, solar and water power might be a better idea. You have a really nice area here; you should preserve the environment.

Do you think the U.S. will ever be energy self-sufficient? No, it's too late. We're stuck now; we should have listened to Jimmy Carter.

Do you think we'll still be dependent on oil 20 years from now? The oil will eventually get all used up, so there are a lot of other energy sources we should be developing in the meantime that wouldn't destroy the environment.

click to enlarge Miriam Cockrell

Miriam Cockrell of Widefield is an event specialist

Do you think fracking could harm the environment? Yes, absolutely, if they hit the wrong spot.

Is it worth taking that chance for the jobs oil exploration could bring to the area? It's still going to be more than a few years for us to see the jobs.

Do you have any concerns about environmental damage? Yes, I'd feel a little uneasy about it. I've lived here most of my life, and there's already been a lot of damage done. If they started drilling, they'd have to know exactly what they're doing.

Do you think the city has the right to impose rules and regulations? Yes, I agree completely with that decision.

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