Erie Rising Rally

Lisa Bracken and I headed over to the Erie Rising Rally on June 2. Check out the photo gallery at Erie Rising’s Flickr page. More photos at the Daily Camera.

Hundreds gather to protest Encana Corp.’s fracking operation in Erie

Kids rally to protest hydraulic fracturing, gas drilling near Erie schools

What I learned at the Erie Rising Rally

Click on the rally photos. Check out that awesome park with the amphitheater built into the berm. The 43-acre Erie Community Park opened in April 2010 and includes: four lighted ballfields, concessions/restrooms, lighted multi-purpose field, civic green event space — with amphitheater — four lighted tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic shelters, trails, demonstration garden, 208 parking spaces and landscaping. The $6.1 million Phase I project was funded through park impact fees and grants from Great Outdoors Colorado and EnCana. (Phase II is underway.) Pay no attention to the surrounding well pads and condensate tanks.

The first thing I said to Lisa was, “Wow. We really do live in the Third World. We don’t have anything that even comes close to this. And we’re surrounded by gas wells, too.” Compared to Erie, Silt looks like a man camp.

But that doesn’t change the fact there is heavy industry – oil & gas drilling – occurring in the middle of a residential area very close to elementary and middle schools, which in any other instance would be a zoning violation. There is definitely an air of surrealism to the town. I think Erie, Colorado, is how the oil & gas industry envisions our future – a model community with gas wells on every street corner.

Photo courtesy Erie Rising

Click here to sign the petition to Governor Hickenlooper to stop fracking in Erie, Colorado.

Lisa Bracken was first in line of many featured speakers, including the mothers from Erie Rising and representatives from Water Defense, Food and Water Watch, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Sierra Club, and more.

A spokesperson for Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) read a letter from him. Congressman Polis and Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) sent a letter urging the Obama administration to “implement new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that will protect public health from the impacts of rapidly expanding drilling. In a letter signed by more than 20 of their House colleagues, Polis and Hinchey called for the finalization of the EPA rules, known as the New Source Performance Standards.”

“As we’ve seen in Colorado and in communities across the country, fracking is increasingly encroaching on homes and schools, and bringing with it serious health concerns,” said Polis. “The new EPA rules are a common sense approach to issues we’re seeing in Colorado in places like Erie, where drilling has forced families to leave their homes and is occurring far too close to schools. Natural gas is an important part of our energy future, but we have to make sure we extract it while protecting public health.”

Angela Fox speaks at Erie Rising Rally — photo courtesy of Erie Rising

Angela Monti Fox, mother of Gasland director Josh Fox, spoke about The Mothers Project, which she founded in March, with the goal to “use all peaceful means democracy allows to protect children from the harm due to the mining and use of forms of energy detrimental to the survival of the earth and its most vulnerable inhabitants; children.”

Their first campaign is A Mother’s Day Letter to First Lady Michelle Obama. Read the letter and add your signature.

Here’s the deal, people. We are in the midst of the great big disconnect. From the First Lady’s commitment to “fostering healthy eating and healthy living for children and families across the country” to Mayor Bloomberg’s attack on the Big Gulp to the BOCC’s concern over kids getting access to medical marijuana – it’s upside down world. While everyone frets over the dangers of French fries, pizza, sugar, and pot to our kids’ health, the impacts of oil & gas drilling on public health and the environment are ignored and covered up.

The fact is, according to the Clean Air Council, children are at far greater risk of chronic illnesses, asthma, and cancer from toxic pollutants in the air they breathe and the water they drink.

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2 Comments on “Erie Rising Rally”

  1. Liz Fisher Says:

    Insightful article, Peggy! The “air of surrealism” you mention describes the atmosphere many of us sense. Erie’s become Bizarro land, where everything is topsy-turvy. I was very moved by Lisa’s speech. Thank you both so much for being there to support Erie Rising.

  2. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Hi Liz, I was so overwhelmed by the whole experience I forgot to mention that Erie Rising put on a great rally. In my haste to get out the news I don’t often get to pour my heart out. You folks in Erie and the Erie Rising moms are simply awesome. The rally was fantastic — an emotional experience. We in Silt are so proud to stand in solidarity with you. My blog is always open to Erie Rising. Whatever you need publicized or guest blogging — anything.

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