The Big Tent is a blogger hangout/policy house at the Democratic convention. I got a temporary pass today because a guy I started talking to a guy on the street, and he got me a temporary pass. It's great how things like that happen at events like this.
One of the events that I saw was organized by the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado. It was about the impact that drilling for oil and gas is having on the West. The first speaker that I heard was an older gentleman who has roots in this part of the country. He talked about the importance "home place" for people in the West, the idea that your home grounds you in a special way, gives you a sense of place, defines you, in a sense. That's true, I think, for most people, but for him, it's particularly important out here. It was sort of a homespun, down-to-earth existentialism. This guy (I didn't catch his name) made it clear that all of the drilling for oil and gas is interfering with that sense of place.
But he also said that he and others are not opposed to drilling per se, they just want to balance the interests of the local population, which has a strong interest in keeping the environment pristine and free of toxins and pollution, with the need to drill for oil and gas.
The next speaker (again, I didn't catch his name) mentioned a statistic that I've never heard, but which blew my mind. He talked about how John McCain wants to "Drill here, drill now," as if we are not drilling enough now. So how much drilling for oil and gas is going on in the United States. According to this guy (I don't have time to verify it, but I'll look into finding a link), we are drilling 1,000 new wells in the U.S.
50,000 new wells a year. That's incredible. That's a lot of wells. That's a good statistic for Democrats to start throwing out there.