Having a say-so on fracking is our right!

Image courtesy of sxc.hu

The law should stand behind the people, not on top of them.

Thank you, Longmont City Council, for standing your ground against the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission. The regulations that Longmont has put in place regarding oil and gas drilling are weak at best, but so common sense that it’s hard to fathom how the state could oppose them. Wouldn’t everyone hope that we’d monitor groundwater for possible contamination, keep heavily industrialized operations out of residential neighborhoods and have setbacks to protect our streams? Even those who fully support the idea that fracking is safe and necessary can see that in certain settings there should be limits.

The local community should be allowed to have a say in its own health, safety and well-being. And rest assured, there are safety issues when it comes to fracking. Just this week, a blast at an Encana fracking site in Weld County killed one worker and injured three. My heart goes out to the families of those workers. Do we really want to take the chance of something like that happening right next to a school, or playground, or our own backyard?

What’s at issue here is much more than whether or not fracking itself is safe or necessary. It’s an issue about whether or not a local community has the right to protect its own best interests. The COGCC is using its power to bully our small town. And when a bully gets its way, it only makes the bullying worse. If you ask me, the fact that they are actually suing our town over these minimal, common-sense regulations just builds a better case for why we, as a community, should assert our constitutional right to ban the practice of fracking within our city limits by voting for the Longmont Public Health, Safety and Wellness Act in November.

  1 comment for “Having a say-so on fracking is our right!

  1. Gregory Iwan
    August 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    What is the portion of the Earth’s land surface area (or the USA’s, or even Colorado’s), covered by the City of Longmont? I doubt it’s even one-one-hundred-thousandth. I wouldn’t feel overjoyed if the City was the last place on the planet to explore for hydrocarbons, but should it come to that, THEN the citizens and the state should make a “deal.” Right now, Gov. Hick seems to be trying to intimidate Longmont and cajole it into withdrawing its regulations. I wonder if he has ever heard of ZONING. More later.

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