Letter: Time to ban fracking | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Time to ban fracking

Time to ban fracking

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Oil and Gas Task Force was an exercise in corrupt politics to stall the ultimate ballot initiative of banning fracking in Colorado. In August, Hickenlooper, with the help of the natural-gas lobby, negotiated a back-room deal with Rep. Jared Polis to sidetrack oil-and-gas ballot initiatives for the 2014 election. Last year, thousands of people in Colorado signed petitions to get ballot initiatives such as extended setbacks from homes, the statewide fracking ban and the environmental bill of rights locked into the November election. Hickenlooper and the natural-gas lobby stole these initiatives from the people of Colorado by illegally negotiating a governor-appointed oil-and-gas task force to study oil-and-gas drilling issues in Colorado. This task force was the bullet that Hickenlooper and the gas lobby wanted to prevent Colorado residents from having the power to oppose fracking and abusive drilling practices by the oil-and-gas industry.

Most of us here on the Western Slope and probably the Front Range know that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment are the most corrupt state agencies when it comes to monitoring and regulating the oil and gas industries. These agencies have continually failed in their mission statements to assist and protect the health and welfare of the people of Colorado. These two agencies have gone beyond their job descriptions to protect the oil and gas industries. I would propose a new ballot initiative to ban the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Many of us in the Colorado environmental community knew from the beginning that the governor’s task-force outcomes would heavily favor the oil and gas industries. Now, it is time for the people of Colorado who are concerned about their health and their lives to veto Hickenlooper’s task-force recommendations and move on with reinstating the original ballot initiatives. I would encourage Karen Dike and the Coloradans Against Fracking to reignite the anti-fracking campaign across Colorado. Ban fracking and save our precious water now and for the future. Colorado has been drilled enough.

Randy Fricke

New Castle


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