On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, Coloradans representing our state’s rich diversity came together in Denver to launch Coloradans Against Fracking. The new broad-based coalition is calling on Governor John Hickenlooper to use his executive authority to protect our families, our health and our beautiful state by placing a ban on hydraulic fracturing. We held a press conference outside the Denver Convention Center, while inside, the Governor’s appointed oil and gas task force — a body that includes no public health professionals or leaders from the groups that enacted community-led initiatives to stop fracking — met inside to finalize its recommendations to the Governor. We reject these recommendations, because they ignore the inherent dangers of fracking, which continuously mounting scientific evidence links to public health problems (birth defects, cancers), air pollution, water contamination and property damage.
After the press conference, about forty Coloradans Against Fracking members entered room where the oil and gas task force was meeting and delivered a compendium of more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific studies on the dangers associated with fracking. 87 percent of these reports on health tied fracking to public health risks; these risks were so compelling that the compendium convinced New York Governor to ban fracking in that state. It’s past time for Governor Hickenlooper to heed the science and protect Coloradans by banning fracking.
All members of the task force received a copy of compendium of more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific studies on the dangers associated with fracking.
Photos of the press conference are here.
The mission of Coloradans Against Fracking is clear: to convince Governor Hickenlooper to use his executive authority to ban fracking. While no movement working to achieve a goal would remove any option from the table, Coloradans Against Fracking is not actively planning for a ballot initiative to ban fracking. Rather, Coloradans Against Fracking is focused on Governor Hickenlooper because it is incumbent on him to be the leader Coloradans elected him to be — one who protects the people he represents from threats to their safety, health and well being — not the enabler of an oil and gas industry that has bought his support.
Our press release following the press conference:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 24, 2015
Contact: Sam Schabacker, Food & Water Watch, email@example.com; 720-295-1036
“Coloradans Against Fracking” Urges Statewide Ban on the Dangerous Gas and Oil Extraction Method
Broad-based Coalition of Groups from Across Colorado Launches at Denver Convention Center, Deliver Health Compendium to Oil & Gas Task Force Appointees
Denver, CO – Residents from across the state gathered in Denver today to announce the launch of Coloradans Against Fracking, a broad-based coalition highlighting the failure of Governor John Hickenloooper’s oil and gas task force to produce legislative recommendations that will protect Coloradans from this dangerous gas and oil extraction process, and calling on the Governor to use his executive authority to issue a statewide ban on fracking.
“Clear scientific evidence demonstrates that fracking is inherently harmful to public health, property values and the environment,” says Karen Dike of Our Longmont. “As a retired Registered Nurse, I find the health science particularly damning: fracking uses carcinogenic chemicals and allows known toxins like benzene to pollute our land, air and water. There’s no place for fracking in a healthy Colorado.”
In fact, a scientific analysis of more than 400 peer-reviewed studies of the health impacts associated with fracking in December compelled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking in that state.
“Governor John Hickenlooper has refused to protect the people of this state from the health, environmental and property impacts of fracking,” says Mike Roque, Colorado Progressive Coalition. “He has failed Coloradans by appointing an oil and gas task force with no public health representatives and no representatives from communities of color concerned about fracking. Governor Hickenlooper has the power to ban fracking; it’s time for him to do it.”
Roque and Dike were among those who spoke at a press conference outside the Colorado Convention Center as the oil and gas task force held its final meeting inside. Coloradans Against Fracking expects the task force to finalize recommendations that ignore the clear and mounting science against fracking, and instead continue to green light the extreme extraction process next to homes, schools, public parks and pristine areas throughout Colorado.
“If Governor Cuomo can ban fracking in New York, Governor Hickenlooper can do it in Colorado,” says Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Earth Guardians. “As a young person, I hope Governor Hickenlooper will stand up to the oil and gas companies to keep Colorado’s water and air clean and healthy for my generation and many more to come.”
After the press conference, about forty members of the Coloradans Against Fracking coalition entered the convention center and delivered copies of the New York health compendium to members of the oil and gas task force.
“There’s no question that fracking is harming people in Colorado right now,” said Rev. Robert Toll. “After having lived in Parachute for two years as a pastor of a church there, I became aware of the residents there coming down with various forms of cancer (including myself with prostate cancer) and various respiratory problems. We lived in close proximity to thousands of fracking sites next to our homes, schools, library, golf course, and the Colorado River. Housing prices have been adversely affected by all of this fracking activity.”
People in communities across Colorado have for years experienced the negative effects of fracking, including increased risk of cancer and birth defects, lowered property values, water and air contamination, and diminished quality of life. In addition, fracking takes place next to homes and schools where lower-income families, often people of color, live.
“Families all across Colorado are being forced to suffer the negative impacts of fracking on their lives,” said Razz Gormley with Frack Free Colorado. “This is not just an environmental issue – this is about our elected officials choosing to serve corporate interests over our basic Human Rights.”
“Methane leakage associated with fracking is exacerbating the climate crisis, which is hitting Coloradans hard with extreme weather – like the severe drought, wildfires and floods we’ve seen in recent years,” said Micah Parkin, of 350 Colorado. “It’s time for a determined transition beyond fossil fuels to Colorado’s abundant clean, renewable energy resources.”
“Fracking is not patriotic, economically viable or socially responsible. It is dangerously irrational – mining a product at the cost of everything,” said Sharon Carlisle with Protect Our Loveland. “Yet our elected representatives and our courts continue to favor this dangerous, industrial process over the people. Why?”
“Fracking operations are no longer quaint, single old-fashioned wells,” said Tricia Olson with Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights. “These are large industrial operations, producing serious air pollution and health effects, and scheduled to pop up everywhere throughout the state. Bureaucrats talk about mitigating the effects. Mitigate? Let’s eliminate! Let’s protect our beautiful state and use its abundant sun and wind for renewable energy and sustainable jobs.”
“As the top public servant in this state, the Governor is accountable to Coloradans, not oil and gas corporations,” said Sam Schabacker, Western Region Director with Food & Water Watch. “It is Governor Hickenlooper’s job to put our health, our environment and our future above the profits of his Big Oil & Gas donors; therefore, it is his job to ban fracking in Colorado once and for all.”
About Coloradans Against Fracking:
Coloradans Against Fracking is a broad-based coalition of organizations, businesses and individuals from all corners of Colorado calling on Governor Hickenlooper to heed the science, listen to Coloradans and follow Governor Cuomo’s example by banning fracking in the Mile High State.
These individuals, groups and businesses have joined Coloradans Against Fracking:
Our Longmont, Foodshed Productions, Our Broomfield, 350 Colorado, Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights, Frack Free Colorado, Protect Our Loveland, Food & Water Watch, Eco-Justice Ministries, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Earth Guardians, Frack Free Boulder, CFORSE, Kids Against Fracking, Lakewood Fractivists, Greenpeace, Valley Organic Growers Association, CREDO, Question Fracking, Environmental Action, WildEarth Guardians, Friends of the Earth, Breast Cancer Action, People Demanding Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Question Alliance, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Greeley Branch, Center for Biological Diversity, MindDrive Legal Services, Clean Energy Action, 350 Central Colorado, 350 Colorado Springs, 350 Denver, 350 Fort Collins, 350 S. Metro Denver, 350 Weld County, Garfield Transparency Initiative, Northwest Colorado Progressives, Blue Wing Strategies LLC, What the Frack!? Araphaoe