Grassroots Efforts to Stop Fracking Around Front Range Communities
June 21, 2012
LONGMONT, Colo. - Grassroots organizations in Colorado are fighting the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in residential areas. They're hoping to pass regulations on fracking in order to protect the air, water and land in their towns.
The groups' efforts include a rally at a school near a proposed fracking site in Erie and informational meetings in Aurora and Boulder.
Sam Schabacker, director of the Mountain West region of Food and Water Watch, has been working with these smaller activist groups to generate awareness about the dangers of fracking.
"We believe that our constitutional right to live safe, healthy lives and protect our property trumps the right of the oil and gas industry to come into our communities and endanger our health and our safety."
This week, the city of Longmont extended its moratorium on oil and gas drilling by 45 days. During this time, no new drilling permits will be granted to oil and gas companies within the city limits. City leaders tabled a vote on city-specific fracking restrictions earlier in the month.
Meanwhile, a group in Longmont wants to turn the moratorium into a permanent ban on drilling in the city. It has proposed a ballot issue, and Schabacker says it also is training volunteers on how to properly petition and collect signatures from Longmont citizens.
"Increasingly, the feedback we're getting is people are very concerned about having 200 trucks a day rolling through their neighborhood, or having a drill pad located within 350 feet of their house, or their children's elementary school."
In order for this issue to be on November's ballot, 5,704 signatures must be collected by Aug. 28.