Fracking Ban update 12/31/2012
Neshama Abraham writing to thank all of you who signed the petition to ban fracking in Boulder County, Colorado. On Dec. 31, 2012, we reached our goal with more than 2,100 signers from 18 countries around the Globe, including Josh Fox, producer of the documentary Gasland – a must-see expose about fracking – and Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. Moreover, our petition is part of a larger Colorado, U.S. and international movement that recognizes that high volume, toxic-laden horizontal fracturing of the Earth is too destructive a technique to be allowed to continue.
This blog is to highlight the results of our good work. First, a quick update on the City of Boulder front. Follow Frack Free Boulder on Facebook re a Boulder effort in 2013 to ban fracking. Like Longmont, Boulder is governed by “home rule” and we can institute a ban against fracking whether by a resolution or regulation initiated by Boulder City Council or by a citizen-initiated ballot measure. If you are passionate about banning fracking and want to help, please contact me via the Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Boulder County effort significantly raised awareness of fracking in Boulder County. In the Commissioners’ December 13 public meeting, they stated that they heard our voices and were influenced by the public outcry against fracking. They said that they would like to ban fracking in Boulder County!
We now understand that politically this isn’t possible – yet – without the County being immediately at risk for being sued by the State. As a result, the Commissioners did the next best thing. They gave us the toughest regulations against fracking in Colorado. This was an important step as it provides us greater protection as a fallback – protection which I hope we never need to use. Thank you Commissioners!
However, the regulations passed by the Commissioners are not the answer. Fracking is not safe at any distance. Thanks to Audy, Kate, Nancy and Tricia, founders of Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights, and the many other dedicated activists who spent the past year discussing regulations. The discussions bought us time, time that is on the side of public interest. The more people learn, the more likely we are to win this David vs. Goliath battle.
Even the oil & gas industry will not be able to hide the demonstrated enormous and virtually unrepairable environmental damage to water, air and land caused by fracking. Nor can the industry hide how sick people become who live within half a mile (less than 2,700 ft.) of a fracked well who can no longer function properly, think straight, breath without coughing, and a 66 percent increased chance of getting cancer (finding from peer-reviewed Colorado Public Health Study).
Time is what we need and what the Boulder County Commissioners can give us when they meet again on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 4 pm to decide whether to extend the moratorium on fracking in Boulder County. Attend this January 24 public meeting to request that the moratorium on fracking be continued. State that we need to do all the research necessary – years worth – to obtain solid baseline data before we can consider giving permits for oil & gas drilling that will use fracking. If you can’t attend the meeting, please write to the Commissioners at email@example.com.
For background and to download oil & gas development public docs, please visit the Boulder County Commissioners’ website. Check out Boulder Weekly’s excellent coverage of the fracking issue, including Joel Dyer’s thoughtful article.
In the meantime, join me if you live in Boulder and wish to help on a ban against fracking for the City of Boulder. Boulder has old drilling wells that the oil & gas industry could try to tap. Plus, Boulder will be joining other brave municipalities, like Longmont, who are fighting to protect the environment, people’s health and our quality of life. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s make 2013 into the year that fracking was publicly uncovered for what it is – a desperate and dangerous effort to keep society dependent on fossil fuels, motivated by industry greed and causing enormous environmental and health consequences. A destructive process that needs to be stopped. And when fracking is stopped, the doors may finally and fully swing open to renewable energy sources.
Let’s do it!
Founder, Frack Free Boulder County and next … Frack Free Boulder.