The following address was presented to the Longmont City Council on April 17, 2012 in response to the the “draft” dilling/fracking regulations. The Longmont City Council ignored the testimony and pleas of the community, the advice of four of its boards and commissions and advanced on a 6-1 vote a gutted version of the regulations to ordinance. Sarah Levison provided the protest vote.
This document of Longmont’s proposed oil and gas regulations shames this city. And it should shame you. But I suspect it won’t. It is nothing more than a capitulation to the oil and gas industry and a betrayal of the citizens of Longmont.
As a home rule city, you have the legal opportunity to do much more. You met in executive session on March 27 and April 3 to discuss draft oil and gas regulations and to receive legal advice and obtain instructions regarding the same. It does not take a Philadelphia lawyer or a rocket scientist to determine when and where your decisions took place. Tonight’s discussion is likely to be nothing more than a dog and pony show to once again pretend to the Longmont public that you are listening to their testimony, the evidence of the dangers of drilling within the city and the threats to human health, safety and welfare from fracking.
Our health, safety and welfare are constitutionally (both United States and Colorado) and statutorily guaranteed. Yet our Democratic governor, our Republican attorney general and the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, the oil and gas industry sock puppet, prefers to thumb their collective noses at the people and smile all the way to the bank to deposit campaign contributions from their benefactors. The same holds true of most members of the Longmont city council who occupy their seats by virtue of the financial assistance and dirty campaign tactics of Western/American Tradition Partnership and its local sympathizers who do not know enough or care enough to even protect themselves and their families.
It was no accident that American Tradition Partnership first showed its rabidly anti-people face in Longmont in 2009. This organization, funded by the extraction industries and the Koch Brothers, knew the oil and gas industry was moving its way to the western end of the Wattenberg Field and the Niobrara Play and needed a Longmont city council that would “play” ball with them – pun intended. They got it and they got more of it last year. And now the people of Longmont are getting fricking fracked.
So you’ll sacrifice your personal integrity, the well-being of your community and the health and safety of your families on the altar of oil and gas profits and I suspect you’ll even use the nauseatingly familiar buzzwords of your political party to justify the decisions you made weeks, if not months, ago.
But don’t expect respect or support for your choices and don’t expect that the community will take your actions lying down – or bending over.
This is not over until the proverbial fat lady sings – and you can be sure that she is just warming up.