In spite of the COGCC’s inability to enact meaningful regulations on the oil & gas industry in response to citizens’ demands for more protections for water quality, air quality, public health and the environment, we should not be discouraged. The witnesses and the environmental coalition definitely made an impact on the Commissioners last week. What we do here in Colorado has an impact around the globe.
The whole world is waking up to the dangers of drilling and fracking. Yet public awareness is not enough. Governments are responding but the regulations on the oil & gas industry do not go far enough. It comes as no surprise that industry’s response is to hire a PR firm to catapult the propaganda. While it’s true Control Risks is a global risk assessment firm, last summer they partnered with the Brunswick Group, the world’s 11th largest PR firm. Clearly, they’re not wasting any time by turning to a progressive news website like Truthout to catapult the industry propaganda.
I couldn’t help wondering how the industry will respond to the Control Risks report. Will they invest more in their workers and the communities they impact? Will they open the door to more mitigation? Or will they unleash the Toxic Care Bear?
It didn’t take long for an initial strategy to surface locally. They tapped their patsy at the BLM to proselytize on their behalf.
Just because they trashed the environment for 65 years doesn’t justify continuing the practice. From 1961 to 1973, Project Plowshare oversaw 27 underground nuclear blasts in Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado (Project Rulison in ’69). Should we resurrect that abomination too? Using David Boyd’s (PR guy for the BLM) logic, since governments allowed indiscriminate dumping of toxic chemicals and radioactive materials into the environment for decades we shouldn’t change history.
Enter NOAA, the EPA, and the reality of climate change …
It’s too bad Colson didn’t ask Boyd about the BLM’s mission as it relates to the impact of oil & gas development on climate change: “It is the mission of the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.”
Meanwhile drilling permits are down in Colorado and wind power is gearing up.
All of which brings us back to the global anti-fracking movement and Food and Water Watch organizer Mark Schlosberg’s final analysis: “[E]nvironmentalists and anti-fracking activists want long-term solutions to the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, not simple reforms offered by an already wealthy industry. Activists, he said, must remain ‘very vigilant, mobilized and organized’ as the industry wakes up to the reality of the global anti-fracking movement.”
As evidenced by the outcome of last week’s hearings, Governor Frackenlooper does not want to be a leader in protecting public health and the environment. But that’s not stopping Colorado citizens and environmental groups from the leading the way.
Large Coalition Comes Together to Oppose Fracking in Colorado
Over 25 organizations join forces to create “Protect Our Colorado” and calls on state officials to protect residents from dangerous energy extraction process.