Wednesday, September 10, 2014

COLORADO - Local Community Bands Fracking

"Colorado fracking fuels fight between state and local government over control" PBS NewsHour 9/8/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  We just heard about how immigration may affect the coming election in a number of states, including Colorado.  Well, it turns out there is another issue that could have a significant impact in the state of Colorado, fracking.

Communities there are engaged in a battle with the state to get more control over oil and gas drilling.

Rocky Mountain PBS’ Dan Boyce reports from the town of Longmont.

KAYE FISSINGER:  I found out that they were going to be fracking all around Union Reservoir.

DAN BOYCE, Rocky Mountain PBS:  Seventy-year-old great grandmother Kaye Fissinger is a busy woman these days.  She’s been fighting for the last three years to protect the town she loves from fracking, the technique of pumping pressurized water deep underground to fracture rock and extract oil and natural gas.

KAYE FISSINGER:  So, we don’t have drilling and fracking yet here, and that’s because of the ban.

DAN BOYCE:  Fissinger was eager to show us this reservoir at the edge of Longmont, where companies have been trying to put in a series of gas wells.

KAYE FISSINGER:  There will be fracking all around here, where people play.

DAN BOYCE:  She’s worried it will soon look like so many other places along Colorado’s Front Range, with drill towers and wellheads cropping up next to homes at an unprecedented rate.

Activists like Fissinger in a handful of communities just north of Denver succeeded in keeping this boom away from their doorsteps by lobbying at the local level.  The Longmont City Council voted to restrict where wells could be built a couple of years ago.

A few months later, residents took it a step further, passing a ban on fracking altogether.  The state government immediately launched two lawsuits against Longmont for this, and it fired up a grassroots citizens movement for a statewide initiative to give local communities more control over fracking.

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