It’s not common to read stories that describe a breach of the public trust by Wyoming’s public servants. This week, however, was different — with news from Vancouver that Tom Doll, the supervisor of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, in a speech to an interstate group of regulators, accused people in the Pavillion area of being driven by “greed” as they have voiced concerns about groundwater pollution that, EPA scientists say, is the likely result of gas drilling.
Like all state officials, Mr. Doll should honor the state constitution, which says that private property shall not be taken or damaged for public or private use without justification, and also says that the state must guard water equally for the benefit of all. These provisions suggest that Mr. Doll should be tough but fair, and it’s hard to see how he can be both, going forward, when it comes to the issue of water contamination near Pavillion.
Some residents near Pavillion have sought the state’s protection from documented groundwater contamination that the EPA, in a draft study, has said in all likelihood is the result of natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing.
Mr. Doll was quoted as saying about the people of rural Pavillion: “I think they’re just looking to be compensated.”
This isn’t the first time that Mr. Doll has weighed in on the Pavillion-area groundwater contamination investigation in a way that exceeds his normal duty of overseeing the oil and gas industry’s activities in Wyoming.
Click here to read the entire column at WyoFile.