Fracking in Colorado and all around the Country has been speeding up at an alarming pace. I had the chance to talk with Activist Sonia Skakich Skirma about some of the terrible things that have been happening to residents in Colorado, but also some good news for the November Ballot.
First the incredibly bad news that has been occurring in Colorado.
Colorado Environmental Activists have had some issues with our Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as well as with our Democratic Governor for making a radio commercial that stated
"we have not had one instance of groundwater contamination associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing"Really? How about this story, which is one of many and were featured in Josh Fox's Documentary, Gasland.
Secondly, from the interview:
Arapahoe County, like other communites across the Front Range where this new (fracking) has come, has started writing rules specific to the Oil and Gas industry.You heard that correctly, the State is threatening to sue if local municipalities try to enact rules that prevent unsafe drilling or fracking practices.
The COGCC - the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission had their Attorney General come in and say (to Arapahoe County)
'If you write rules, Arapahoe County, that is one more wit more strict than State regulations we, the State, will see you in Court.'
They are trying to enact these rules because there has been ample evidence of widespread contamination by the Oil and Gas industry.
Bruce Finley of the Denver Post went through the COGCC files and found that in a 30 month period, there were 1000 spills and 1/3 of these spills impacted ground or surface water.And this expansion of Fracking which uses millions of gallons of water is happening in a year when we are expected to have record drought not seen in a decade from low winter snowpack.
But finally, there is some good news:
One locality, ironically solidly Republican Elbert County and Colorado Springs have taken a stand against the COGCC and set up stricter rules after lawyer Barbara Green assured them that case history would rule in favor of Municipalities over the State, which will pave the way for other counties to follow suit.
And even better news:
There are very encouraging new initiatives that now are going to be put forward by Be the Change.I know the Oil and Gas Industry will fight tooth and nail to convince voters that Fracking is harmless. But if successful these initiatives would effectively end Fracking in Colorado.
One of them will be Ballot Initiative 3 and this would reassert that the Public owns all of the Water in the State, including all access to all streams and rivers.
The other is Ballot Initiative 45 which states that any use of Colorado Water which contaminates it can not be considered a beneficial use of that water.
And if you can, attend the Earth Day Rally at the State Capitol on Sunday April 22nd from 1-3.