Tag Archive for fracking in Colorado

Longmont Charter Amendment Advances to Ballot

Today, Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont (Our Longmont) announced that its charter amendment, the Longmont Public Health, Safety and Wellness Act, has qualified for the November ballot. The Longmont City Clerk, has declared that Our Longmont’s signatures are “sufficient” to place the Public Health, Safety and Wellness Act, before the voters on November 6, 2012. In doing so, Longmont will be the first city in Colorado to vote on banning the controversial oil and gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

“Today is a historic day for the City of Longmont and for the State of Colorado as Longmont leads the way to prohibit fracking within city limits,” said Michael Bellmont, a member of Our Longmont. “Fracking threatens our constitutional rights to protect our health, safety and property. We believe Longmont citizens have the right to decide whether this dangerous and destructive practice should take place next to their houses and their children’s schools.”

In early June, Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont launched a petition drive to amend the city’s charter with the support of Food & Water Watch. In order to qualify for the ballot, 5,704 signatures of Longmont registered voters are required. With the dedication and hard work of nearly 100 volunteers, members of Our Longmont submitted over 8,200 signatures to the Longmont city clerk on July 20, 2012.

“The democratic process is alive and well in Longmont despite threats from the State of Colorado and the oil and gas industry to deny our city and its residents local control. Longmont citizens emphatically support their right to vote on whether or not fracking should take place next to their homes, schools and reservoirs,” Bellmont said.

“Our Longmont is a grassroots organization of Longmont citizens who believe that every citizen has the constitutional right to health, safety and wellness and that they are entitled to a voice in the guarantee of those rights. We are your neighbors, friends, and co-workers. We are business owners. We are retirees. We are mothers and fathers. We are ordinary Longmont citizens,” said Bellmont.

The state of Colorado is attempting to sue the city of Longmont over its oil and gas regulations. This is a blatant attempt by Governor Hickenlooper, an outspoken cheerleader for the oil and gas industry, to strip local control from Longmont so that his oil and gas friends drill next to houses, schools and parks in Longmont.

Longmont area native and Food & Water Watch’s Mountain Region Director Sam Schabacker has been supporting the efforts of Our Longmont. “Food & Water Watch is honored to help Our Longmont in its commitment to protect the Longmont community’s constitutional right to health, safety and welfare,” said Schabacker. “The actions that Our Longmont has taken are indeed trailblazing. If the Public Health, Safety and Wellness Act is passed by Longmont voters in November, Longmont will be the first community in Colorado to ban fracking,” Schabacker said.

Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont, is a group of concerned citizens from throughout Longmont. We believe that Longmont has a right to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of our community. Our goal is to preserve the quality of life in our exceptional city by protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens. By so doing we will preserve our economic vitality, our home values, our water, parks, wildlife, lakes, trails, streams, open space, and recreational areas for ourselves and future generations.

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume are safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

Water, Oil and Gas don’t mix

Save the Poudre Wants Analysis and Public Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals used in Oil/Gas Wells on top of Proposed NISP Reservoir.

March 9, 2011
Fort Collins, CO — As oil and gas wells continue marching across Weld County, Colorado, they are also marching across the site for the proposed Galeton reservoir which is a water storage facility for the proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). Additionally, of the 11 wells currently drilled and producing on top of the Galeton reservoir footprint as of March 7, 2011, 8 were drilled using “hydraulic fracturing” (fracking) with unknown chemical pollutants (click for map of wells).

On March 8, 2011, Save the Poudre sent a letter to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking for a thorough environmental analysis to be completed within NISP’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) that includes publicizing the chemical components in the fracking fluid used to drill the wells on top of the proposed reservoir. That letter is here: (2011-03-08-stp-letter-to-corps-cogc-epa-fracking-galeton) The NISP SDEIS is supposed to be released to the public near the end of 2011.

“The existence of fracked oil and gas wells on top of, and near, the proposed Galeton reservoir may pose significant human and environmental health risks that need to be thoroughly analyzed in the NISP SDEIS,” said Gary Wockner of Save the Poudre. “NISP has triggered the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act — these federal laws require full disclosure of all environmental impacts, including the environmental impacts of fracking under the proposed Galeton reservoir.”

An example of the fracking description available for one of the wells that was drilled on top of the proposed reservoir reads:

Well 05-123-31052: Frac’d Codell w/101835 gals Silverstim, Acid, and Slick Water with 201220 lbs Ottawa sand. (Source: Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Committee)

In a February 17, 2011 email exchange with Save the Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper, Chandler Peter from the Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that no environmental or cost analyses of the oil and gas wells has yet been figured into NISP. Save the Poudre’s letter to the Corps, COGCC, and EPA outlines the extent of analysis needed to meet federal requirements.

NISP is already over 5 years late and at least $150 million over budget. In January of 2011, the Supplemental DEIS was postponed for the third time.

Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper opposes NISP and has proposed a “Healthy Rivers Alternative” to the project. This Alternative would be cheaper, better for farms, better for the river, and could be implemented faster than NISP. The summary of the Alternative is here: http://poudreriver.home.comcast.net/~poudreriver/Healthy_Rivers_Alternative.pdf

Evidence shows water contaminated by “fracking”

The petroleum industry's concept of a 'fire' hydrant

I recently viewed the documentary Gasland and was appalled at what has been happening in our country regarding hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Fracking is a controversial drilling technique used by the oil and gas industry that has injected millions of tons of highly toxic chemical fluids into the ground to break apart shale and release natural gas.

Problems with drinking water that can be traced to fracking in Colorado are documented in Gasland. One graphic example is tap water actually catching on fire.

Fracking was exempted from the Safe Water Drinking Act in the 2005 Energy Bill and now scientists believe this process is poisoning our drinking water. As time has gone by more facts are coming to light showing the damage being caused and the American lives being placed at risk.

A few members of Congress — Representatives Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, and Maurice Hinchey — have introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act in the U.S. House while Senators Bob Casey and Chuck Schumer have introduced the companion bill in the U.S. Senate. These bills provide common sense regulation of hydraulic fracturing. They require companies to divulge the chemicals being used and close a loophole that exempts drilling operators from safe drinking water regulations.

This is the third time that legislation such as this has been introduced. It is time for citizens to lobby Congress for appropriate regulation of this industry.

This is not a partisan issue. This is about safe drinking water.

If you have a chance, see the movie Gasland, and please call Congress and support this Act. The life you save may be your own.