Sunday, July 20, 2014

Governor Vows to Defeat Stricter Fracking Regulations

Have you seen the many pro fracking television ads? The Oil and Gas industry,  industry backed advocacy groups, and even our Greeley Tribune editors (read their editorial!), try to convince you that drilling for oil and gas near your house and/or your child's school is all safe, all good! According to Gov. Hickenlooper ballot initiatives 88 and 89 should be defeated because,

"..Colorado is already a leader, nationally and internationally to protect the environment, and promoting responsible energy development."

He went on to claim,

"We are proving that we can take full advantage of the innovations in oil and gas development while at the same time maintaining the highest ethical, safety, and environmental standards."
Ethical, safety and environmental standards? Take a look at what is jokingly called the measle map of our city. Each dot represents a well and more are slated to be drilled!

Governor: "Coloradoans for Responsible Energy Development, Protect Colorado, and Coloradoans for Responsible Reform are all organized to defeat these measures, and I am proud to stand with them before you all today...we want to make sure we get the information out there and really focus on making sure this doesn't get passed."

Note that CRED (Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development) is not a group set up by regular Colorado residents! On their website it states: 
"Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Noble Energy, two leaders in the Colorado oil and natural gas community, formed CRED to provide scientifically sound information about fracking. CRED is a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization .. 
Unlike a trade association, CRED doesn’t focus on policy, legislative or regulatory matters. CRED’s core mission is to deliver solid facts directly to the people who need it most: you." 

Yet,  they are not willing to do any scientific health studies to ease our concerns! Why not? And, if they don't "focus on policy, legislative or regulatory matters", why are they siding with the governor to defeat the initiatives??

Interesting too is to learn who is involved with Coloradans for Responsible Reform. On their website you find some familiar faces. Our supposedly 'pro' environment champion and former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, and Greeley's current Mayor Tom Norton. 

And then there is, another group with a name that sounds as if it has everyone's interests at heart, but is really only concerned with what's good for their industry's profit margin! Emphasis is mine.

"Unnecessary ballot initiatives supported by extreme groups are a blatant attempt to eliminate oil and gas production in Colorado. Not only do these ballot initiatives give the government the power to dictate what homeowners can and cannot do with their own property, they would also devastate Colorado's environment, economy, and energy independence".

Isn't the enormous scale of drilling and fracking everywhere around us, near and far devastating the environment we all share? And why is it extreme to worry about the polluted air that our children and grandchildren inhale? Why is an attempt to restrict drilling near homes and schools blatant? And who is dictating to residents, who have nothing to gain from drilling, now? Note that many homeowners, especially those in newer subdivisions, do not own the mineral rights below their land; the developer does. He or she gets to reap the benefits of royalties, but the homeowners are left with the fumes and hazards!

Protect Colorado concludes with this statement. 

"We oppose any extreme ballot measures that threaten the existing laws designed to protect Coloradans’ health and safety or that harm our state’s economy, environment, and energy independence.
With drilling near homes and schools the health and safety of Coloradans is not protected, and the environment is harmed!

But, back to Hickenlooper's recent press conference

Reporter: "You said you are going to do whatever it takes to defeat initiatives."

Governor: "Well it was a figure of speech....[outburst of laughter from those standing with him] We are going to make sure to get the information out".

He means information about job, and revenue loss, but omitting information of hazards, and the health impacts on anyone in close proximity to these wells, including the oilfield workers. My brother-in-law who worked for decades checking gas wells is now suddenly suffering from asthma, and nearly died during his very first attack!

Governor: "..If you impose a 2000 ft setback on the state of Colorado,..not only the oil and gas industry, but we're talking about almost any industry in the state, would suffer negative consequences."

Really? Which other heavy, highly dangerous, and toxic industry is allowed to set up shop inside city limits? I cannot think of any. Besides, Initiative 88 spells out Oil and Gas specifically. Not only that, but if you own the land you can waive the requirement. Better would have been "If you own, AND live on, the land". 
 Initiative 88: 2,000-foot Oil and Gas setback requirement  
"Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a statewide setback requirement for new oil and gas wells, and, in connection therewith, changing existing setback requirements to require any new oil or gas well to be located at least 2,000 feet from the nearest occupied structure; and authorizing a landowner to waive the setback requirement for any structure located on the owner's property?" 

In stating that he will do anything to defeat the initiatives the governor is not acting very statesman like. In effect he is flipping the bird to all who have concerns about health impacts on their communities, and on the vulnerable young children living in an oil and gas town. As it stands we all are breathing various petroleum fumes from these installations, and we are subjected more and more to days on which we inhale harmful ozone! Orange day? Do not let your kids be active outside. Red day? You better keep your child inside!

"On November 20, 2007, the Denver-metropolitan and Northern Front Range areas (including portions of Weld County) were designated as “nonattainment” with the 8-hour federal ozone standard (meaning these areas exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone)"  ~  See the ozone nonattainment map for our area hereSign up for ozone alerts at 
Initiative 89: Local Government Regulation of Environment
"Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a public right to Colorado's environment, and, in connection therewith, declaring that Colorado's environment is the common property of all Coloradans; specifying that the environment includes clean air, pure water, and natural and scenic values and that state and local governments are trustees of this resource; requiring state and local governments to conserve the environment; and declaring that if state or local laws conflict the more restrictive law or regulation governs?" 

If you want to sign the petitions to get these initiatives on the November ballot, please stop by at Centennial Park Library this coming week in the morning hours as some people will be there waiting for you to give you that chance! 

Want to help and take action? See Safe, Clean, Colorado

If you want to leave a comment with the COGCC to oppose drilling at Frontier Elementary school, click here: South Greeley Directional File # 400604803 to access it. After a few seconds you will be redirected to the correct page, then click on comment on the right, and then on New Comment to add your own. Be sure to copy the code that appears!

No comments:

Post a Comment