Vote YES on Issue 2A
for a 5 year moratorium (time- out) on fracking!
Modern fracking practices use heavy industrial technologies that are unproven, potentially hazardous, and threaten Fort Collins' healthy, active image and way of life.
On August 5th, Citizens for a Healthy Fort Collins (HealthyFoCo) turned in over 8000 signatures -- more than twice what was needed to put the 5 year fracking moratorium on this November’s ballot. The initiative has been assigned the number 2A so please VOTE YES ON Issue 2A!
This pause in fracking operations will allow current studies to wrap up and reports to be completed. It will give citizens much-needed information to make a smart decision on whether we want this heavy industrial practice taking place near our homes and schools.
This is an all-mail election. Your ballot will be mailed to you around October 15th. Citizens have until November 5th at 7:00 pm to return their ballots. It is advised to hand deliver ballots that have not been mailed by November 2nd.
To make the fracking moratorium happen, we need YOUR HELP! This election is fast approaching and we need to get the word out to prospective voters. Please sign up as a supporter---volunteer to help and donate money –if you can. We’re in the home stretch everyone- we can do this!
YES on 2A
Oil and fracking chemicals spill into Colorado’s floodwaters
TXsharonFracking equipment overwhelmed by floodwaters in Weld County, Colo, northeast of Denver.
Heavy rains returned to Colorado on Sunday and hampered rescue efforts after last week’s flash floods. The confirmed death toll has risen to seven, and hundreds are still unaccounted for. An estimated 1,500 homes are destroyed. Some 1,000 people in Larimer County, north of Boulder, were awaiting airlifts that never came on Sunday — they were called off because of the foul weather.
The floods have also triggered other problems that have gotten a lot less media attention: Fracking infrastructure has been inundated and its toxic contents have spilled out. Pipelines that transport fossil fuels are sagging and snapping under pressure. Tanks that store chemicals and polluted water are being overwhelmed and toppling over. Oil and gas wells are flooding.
Lafayette-based anti-fracking activist Cliff Willmeng said he spent two days “zig-zagging” across Weld and Boulder counties documenting flooded drilling sites, mostly along the drainageway of the St. Vrain River. He observed “hundreds” of wells that were inundated. He also saw many condensate tanks that hold waste material from fracking at odd angles or even overturned.
“It’s clear that the density of the oil and gas activity there did not respect where the water would go,” Willmeng said. “What we immediately need to know is what is leaking and we need a full detailed report of what that is. This is washing across agricultural land and into the waterways. Now we have to discuss what type of exposure the human population is going to have to suffer through.” …
A spokesman for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said the agency is aware of the potential for contamination from flooded drilling sites, but there simply is no way to get to those sites while flooding is ongoing and while resources are concentrated on saving lives.
The Denver Post interviewed a farmer who ignored evacuation orders and watched as floodwaters overwhelmed a drilling operation on his land and released some oil. The newspaper also reported that at least one oil pipeline was confirmed to have been broken open by the floodwaters. From the article:
Oil drums, tanks and other industrial debris mixed into the swollen [South Platte River] flowing northeast. …
One pipeline has broken and is leaking, Weld County Emergency Manager Roy Rudisill. Other industry pipelines are sagging as saturated sediment erodes around the expanding river.
East Boulder County United, a group that fights fracking, has beenposting photographs on its Facebook page of fracking tanks and other equipment toppled over or submerged by floodwaters. Blogger TXsharon has also been posting updates and photographs.
Meanwhile, experts are beginning to discuss the links between climate change and the floods. The flooding was worsened by drought and wildfires, both of which have been linked to global warming and which left the ground dry and hard. That reduced the amount of water that the soil could absorb from the unusual late-summer inundation.
“This was a totally new type of event: an early fall widespread event during one of the driest months of the year,” Brad Udall of the University of Colorado-Boulder told National Geographic News. “As the climate warms further, the hydrologic cycle is going to get more intense.”
Climate Central notes that it “will take climate scientists many months to complete studies into whether manmade global warming made the Boulder flood more likely.” But the wild weather hitting the state lately fits general climate change projections:
An increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events is expected to take place even though annual precipitation amounts are projected to decrease in the Southwest. Colorado sits right along the dividing line between the areas where average annual precipitation is expected to increase, and the region that is expected to become drier as a result of climate change.
That may translate into more frequent, sharp swings between drought and flood, as has recently been the case. Last year, after all, was Colorado’s second-driest on record, with the warmest spring and warmest summer on record, leading to an intense drought that is only just easing.
Might the fracking industry have worsened Colorado’s floods by contributing to climate change, then spilled its toxic chemicals into those floodwaters? That would be a cruel double-punch.
Hickenlooper Faces Statewide Demands for Local Control Over Oil and Gas Development
Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm
More than 100 current and former local Colorado government officials have banded together to formally request Gov. John Hickenlooper’s help in localizing control over oil and gas development.
La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt spearheaded the effort urging colleagues throughout the state to sign onto three letters and an email that made it to the desks of Chief Strategy Officer Alan Salazar and Hickenlooper on Wednesday.
“Oil and gas is an important part of our economy, but we can’t have it at the expense of our water and air quality,” said Lachelt, longtime activist and founder of Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project.
In the letters, officials express a pressing need for a new approach to oil and gas development, one that will support health and safety and promote research to ensure long-term protection for Colorado communities.
According to Lachelt, Hickenlooper has consistently lobbied against a number of bills proposing to research and effectively minimize the environmental and overall health impacts of oil and gas development. One such measure, proposed by State Representative Joann Ginal, would have initiated a study about the impact of oil and gas extraction on human health.
“The Governor’s office squelched that as well,” said Ross Cunnif, Fort Collins City Councilmember.
Some local officials have spoken out in support of Hickenlooper’s efforts, and many have gone so far as to put that support in writing. On May 1, 122 present and former officials from across the state signed a letter encouraging Hickenlooper to stand strong in keeping oil and gas matters a state issue.
But, the officials who submitted their letters Wednesday are less interested in constraining development than in finding a middle ground, promoting development as well as safety and long-term benefits. They hope the process will recognize all voices, especially those at the local level.
“This is not an anti-oil and gas development letter,” Lachelt said. “What we’re asking is that the Governor spend time with local government officials to come to a better understanding of the folks on the frontlines of oil and gas development.”
So far, Hickenlooper has not shown this kind of support. In 2012, he sued Longmont for banning drilling for oil and gas within its residential neighborhoods. In February of this year, he announced in an interview with CBS4 that the state would sue any local government that attempted or proposed to ban fracking within its borders.
Though Hickenlooper was unavailable for comment Thursday, press contact Eric Brown assured that they would read the letters: ”We value our relationship with local governments all across Colorado. We will carefully review the letter and respond appropriately.”