The following letter was delivered to the Washington, D.C. offices of Colorado Senator Mark Udall and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. The voices in the groups who signed the letter are strong and determined. It is hoped that our senators, as well as all other elected officials, will recognize that the issues raised in this letter are signature issues of our time and that elected representatives of any and all offices as well as political parties will be held accountable by the people.
As the oil and gas industry moves full speed ahead with the fracking boom, residents across the state are organizing to protect their health, environment, property values, way of life and communities form the impacts of oil and natural gas extraction, including fracking. Two Colorado mothers, Jodee Brekke of Denver and Diana Caile of Boulder, traveled to Washington, D.C. to join a nationwide coalition of citizens, communities and organizations for the Stop the Frack Attack events, beginning with Lobby Day on Wednesday, July 25, and culminating in a mass rally and march, with a crowd of 5000, on Saturday, July 28. Ms. Brekke and Ms. Caile met with staff at Senator Udall’s and Senator Bennet’s offices to deliver a letter imploring the senators to discontinue their rhetoric about the benefits of oil and natural gas extraction and to move for a national moratorium on fracking. The letter was signed by 262 Coloradans, as well as 17 grassroots groups and nonprofits from throughout the state, representing thousands more. Additionally, approximately 1500 people from throughout the country and even globally signed on to the letter in solidarity.
To: Senators Udall and Bennet
From: The following Grassroots Groups
East Boulder County United
Boulder County Citizens for Community Rights
Commerce City United
Food and Water Watch
GrassRoots Energy activist Network (GREEN)
Commerce City Unite N.O.W.
Adams County Unite N.O.W.
Be the Change
Protect Colorado Water
Green Valley Ranch Fracking Resistance Group
Denver Community Rights
Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont
What the Frack?! Arapahoe
Colorado is under assault from the oil and gas industry. As the industry moves full speed ahead with the fracking boom, residents across the state are organizing to protect their property values, way of life, health, environment, communities, and future generations from the impacts of oil and natural gas extraction.
The heavy industrial, toxic process of oil and natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing:
- uses millions of gallons of water per frack, turning our water into toxic waste that must be removed from the hydrologic cycle.
- is creating a potential environmental and human health catastrophe by pumping toxic wastewater into injection wells.
- contaminates surface/ground water and soil, spews toxins into our air, and despoils our landscape.
- threatens the economic benefit we receive from tourism and our healthy, outdoor lifestyle branding.
- is harmful to our health.
- releases high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
- disrupts our communities with heavy semi-truck and tanker-truck traffic (some of which carry radioactive material), noise, lights, and industrial level diesel exhaust.
- externalizes millions of dollars in damage to our infrastructure.
- brings with it increased crime and pressure on the housing market from transient worker populations.
- reduces property values.
- threatens the real estate market as lenders are increasingly unwilling to extend mortgages or refinance properties near wells, and as residents choose to leave by short selling or having their properties foreclosed on.
- is a boom and bust activity that leaves communities devastated.
Natural gas has received a lot of attention as a bridge fuel. Natural gas is not a bridge to renewable energy, but just another dirty fossil fuel. In fact, the turn to natural gas is hurting investments in renewables. The only way we’re going to get to a healthy, sustainable energy future is by investing in healthy, sustainable energy. Promoting unconventional natural gas extraction is turning your back on renewable energy, on your constituents who shoulder the externalized costs, and on future generations.
The oil and gas industry is being propped up by taxpayer money in the form of subsidies, tax breaks, exemptions from environmental protection laws and externalized costs shouldered by the people of Colorado and those in communities threatened by this industry across the country. We expect you to fight for the health, safety and welfare of your constituents over corporate profits.
In light of new information coming out almost daily about the above mentioned impacts of oil and natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing, and considering full-cost accounting, as well as the fact that the industry plans to export, we implore you to discontinue your rhetoric about the benefits oil and gas extraction confers and move for a nationwide moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing.