Longmont, you’re fracked. OK by Council

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.

Fracked behind closed doors

Fracked behind closed doors

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 intendedThey 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.

  2 comments for “Longmont, you’re fracked. OK by Council

    April 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I guess we can put Kaye on the “undecided” list? No. Well, it looks like some mitigation is the best the region can hope for. Unless the petrol markets stay whacked for a good long while (and it looks as though they may). A place with little hope will KILL for a few jobs, even temporary ones. What Longmont and Firestone, and Frederick, and Erie, etc., etc., need is to be able to offer business some meaningful comparative advantage. I generally don’t see anything the least bit unique out there. NASA was SUPPOSED to bring some “trigger.” Big misfire. So who will invest in the region, and why? Any takers? I thought so.

  2. doncoulson
    April 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    It seems obvious to these 79+ years old eyes that if any- or all- threats from fracking ever actually occur, there will be few folks hanging around to care how or if these Front Range cities experience growth. Methinks “mitigation” is better defined as “compromise”, and compromise always leaves me remembering Neville Chamberlain in 1938 following his chat with Adolph Hitler.

    It should be obvious to an objective viewer that today’s Big Oil & Gas regime planted their flag in the state legislature many years ago. Then, the general public had never heard of fracking, much less ever imagined there might be a whacking huge stinking and noisy drilling rig just down the path 351 feet past the outhouse. How things change.

    That a city might be endangered was I’m sure, far beyond credulity. But stuff happens, and it surely has in the few short months since last fall when the word “fracking” came into the popular vernacular.

    Back in the good old days it was not unknown for mega-wealthy entities to spread a little green amongst the elected, but the smell gradually persuaded big dough to step back and hire a lobbyist. If the lobbyist had once enjoyed a seat in government “working for his constituents and the welfare of the country/state/county/city/town”- (and possibly himself), all the better.

    To imagine for one second that the hands of BO&G are clean is to beg for an opportunity to bid on a certain bridge in NY. To imagine for one second that BO&G didn’t write the mandate for the COGCC and have it passed to its complete satisfaction is to buy the damned thing. Talk about a bridge to nowhere!

    So what to do? Yes, by all means raise local hell, expose and reveal who donated what and to whom on Council, get them unelected, raise and pass a petition to amend the City Charter… and then…

    Then do the inevitable and probably impossible – raise a state-wide petition to amend the Colorado State Constitution. Get that passed and we will have forever changed politics at every level- including the ones conducted in that outhouse.

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