Kaye Fissinger wrote the following and presented it to Americans Against Fracking to inform them of the work being done here in Colorado.
As growing scientific evidence continues to tie hydraulic fracturing to negative health, property and environmental impacts, concerned people from across Colorado have joined together to redouble efforts to protect Coloradans from this extreme gas and oil extraction method. Yesterday, people representing a broad base of businesses, health, community, environmental, faith, youth and social justice organizations gathered in Denver to launch “Coloradans Against Fracking,” a coalition highlighting the failure of Governor John Hickenlooper’s oil and gas task force to produce legislative recommendations that will protect Coloradans from fracking.
Partners in the coalition of Coloradans Against Fracking are too numerous to mention all, but included are Our Longmont, Our Broomfield, Frack Free Colorado, Protect Our Loveland, 350 Colorado, Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights, Colorado Progressive Coalition and Food & Water Watch.
A scientific analysis of more than 400 peer-reviewed studies on the health impacts associated with fracking compelled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last December to ban fracking in New York State. Coloradans Against Fracking call on the Governor to do the same and to use his executive authority to issue a statewide ban on fracking.
As the top public servant in Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper is accountable to Coloradans, not oil and gas corporations. To this point, Governor Hickenlooper has failed to grasp this fundamental and essential duty. It is Governor Hickenlooper’s job to put our health, our environment, our future, and our constitutionally guaranteed human rights above the obscene profits of his Big Oil and Gas donors and supporters. It is his job to ban fracking in Colorado once and for all.
As leaders elsewhere have stood up against fracking and Coloradans have taken action to protect their own communities, not only has Governor John Hickenlooper declined to protect the people of this state from the dangerous and extreme extraction method, but he has sued communities that have taken it upon themselves to protect their families, friends, homes, parks and open space. Over the past two years, communities all over Colorado have taken a stand for their right to protect their community from fracking and have won at the ballot box. Longmont, Lafayette, Fort Collins , Boulder and Broomfield have built the people power needed to say NO to fracking.
Very recently communities within Denver organized under the banner of “Don’t Frack Denver” in order raise the profile of fracking intentions in their community and to educate about toxic fracking and galvanize those living in Colorado’s capital city.
It is time to take this message statewide. While a statewide ballot measure is not anticipated at this time, all options remain on the table should Governor Hickenlooper and Colorado’s General Assembly fail to provide honest and genuine protection for the citizens of Colorado. We neither want window dressing that pretends that the disconnect with our legislative leaders and Hickenlooper’s administration has been resolved. Nor do we want to hear disingenuous words of pretend concern for our welfare from the oil and gas industry, who in truth wants carte blanche to drill whenever, wherever and however they please.
To prevent constitutional amendments from appearing on the November 2014 ballot, last August Governor Hickenlooper, assorted politicians and the oil and gas industry struck a political backroom deal with a consolation price that created a task force to allegedly resolve conflicts involving oil and gas extraction. Even in his appointments, Governor Hickenlooper has failed Coloradans by stacking the task force with oil and gas insiders but with NO representatives with public health expertise and with NO representatives from the five Colorado communities that either banned this toxic and dangerous extraction method or placed long-term moratoriums that would remain in place until further studies on the health and safety impacts are completed.
This oil and gas task force is set to finalize legislative proposals and deliver them to Governor Hickenlooper by the end of this week. Unfortunately, we expect that the task force will propose to move forward with business as usual — or worse — adding to the existing 52,000 active wells in Colorado with even more of them next to our homes, schools, places of employment and public parks and recreation areas.
Coloradans Against Fracking calls on Governor Hickenlooper to heed the science, listen to the people of Colorado and ban fracking in our glorious Mile Hi State.