For the life of me I do not understand why 100% of city council would not be in favor of extending the current fracking moratorium an additional 6 months. Instead, at next Tuesday’s meeting we’re looking at yet another 4-3 or possibly 5-2 vote to leave things alone. Come June 17, city staff will begin final negotiations with the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). Staff will be hoping to gain a few concessions and in return will issue permits to drill without lengthy or critical review.
Please understand- COGCC is the servant of the Colorado Oil and Gas industry. The word “Conservation” in their title is an insult to anyone truly concerned with the environment and conservation at any level. Read this and ponder: Of 516 oil and gas spills reported in 2011, only 5 fines were levied. The benzine spill at Trail Ridge Middle School was first reported in 2006 and is still a festering stink, all brought to you by TOP, the folks that are working for drilling permits around Union Reservoir.
TOP has had at least 10 “NOI’s” (Notice of Intent) from COGCC which I understand have been essentially ignored. This is not the kind of “Good corporate citizen” I would want in my community. I’m not sure if the benzine problem has – 6 years later- been fully resolved.
So why an additional 6 months moratorium? Because communities from New York to Pennsylvania and into Colorado are fighting like hell to defend and preserve their air, water, vistas and infrastructure- otherwise known as “Quality Of Life”. Almost daily, new legislation, new strategies and new alliances are being formed to fight for these rights, and they are exactly that – human and community rights. New York has banned fracking state-wide. Some cities are challenging big oil and gas in court to establish their right to ban fracking on municipal property. Take a peek at the Colorado Constitution article XX which informs us that the rights of Home Rule municipalities such as Longmont take precedent over the state and its agencies.
Stuff is happening at almost every level of government in all states facing the threat of fracking, and this city council should stand up and start fighting instead of caving in to threats of legal action. I wish this mess had opened up last October when we the citizens had an opportunity to examine the issues and the candidate’s responses. I suspect there would be a different tune played today- and likely from a different band. But wishful thinking will get us nowhere- if it did we’d all be Lottery rich.
Instead, please take a stand. Sign this petition: http://longmontroar.org/email-city-council/ then write directly to your council rep, pass this along to your neighbors and Facebook pals- and if you have the time, turn up at next Tuesday’s council meeting.
Remember the 1976 movie “Network”? “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”. An apt slogan for our city and our times.