26 groups sign letter to task force

November 24, 2014

Colorado

The 21-member Oil and Gas Task Force established by Governor John Hickenlooper executive order gathered Thursday, November 20, 2014 for its third meeting at The Ranch - Thomas McKee building at the Larimer County Fairgrounds. The task force met again on Friday. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

The 21-member Oil and Gas Task Force established by Governor John Hickenlooper executive order gathered Thursday, November 20, 2014 for its third meeting at The Ranch – Thomas McKee building at the Larimer County Fairgrounds. The task force met again on Friday. [Photo courtesy John Leyba, The Denver Post]

Twenty-six grassroots organizations from across the state have sent an open letter to Governor Hickenlooper’s recently formed “blue ribbon” commission on fracking. The commission’s charge is to make recommendations on how to defuse the growing citizen anger over the oil industry’s claim of superior rights.

To this end, the groups asked the commission to do three things:

  1. Take a bus tour directed by the grassroots of drilling in Greeley and the surrounding area.
  2. Invite citizen panels to participate at hearings. Heretofore only government officials and the industry have been invited.
  3. Conduct fact-finding hearings in the 5 towns that have passed moratoria or bans. None are now planned for these towns.

Barbara Mills-Bria of Be the Change said, “I’m appalled the public has been frozen out of formal participation. Public dollars are paying for what has every appearance of being a white wash, maybe the commission ought to start over and devise better ways to get public input.”

Laura Fronckiewicz of the Broomfield grassroots said, “The Governor put Pat Quinn, our ex-mayor, on the commission. He fought us every step of the way in our attempt to protect the people of Broomfield. This is a slap in the face to the citizen majority who voted for our moratorium.”

Wes Wilson of Denver said, “Last Thursday in Loveland, many people sat through an afternoon of industry happy talk so they could get their 2 minutes in the public comment period. At the Loveland and Durango hearings over half of those people who signed up were denied the opportunity. Some public process. “

***********

Open letter to Governor Hickenlooper’s “Blue Ribbon” Task Force

Dear Task Force Members:

The following grassroots organizations seek the opportunity to bring on-the-ground information about hydraulic fracking before you. We have three requests in this regard:

1. We request your attendance on a bus tour of Greeley and other points in northeast Colorado to hear and see the grassroots side of the fracking story. You’ve been on a fracking tour sponsored by Anadarko. They told their story. It is well past time the grassroots were allowed to tell theirs. We remind the committee that they were established to learn the facts and make recommendations to the governor and the legislature. You cannot complete this charge until you hear what we know, until you hear our story. This tour would be a first step. The meeting on January 15-16 in Greeley provides such an opportunity. The morning of the 15th could be set aside for it. We would also expect representatives from local, state, and federal governments to be invited to participate up to a reasonable limit.

2. The several panels for this Thursday’s afternoon sessions in Loveland(11/20/14) are, again, basically devoid of citizen participants. It is the people who must live with fracking. It is their concerns that form the basis for the commission’s existence. Indeed, if there were not growing opposition to what many citizens consider the oil industry’s control over their lives and property, you would not exist. So, in our opinion, you must invite those citizens who find the present course of things unacceptable to testify if this process is to have any legitimacy. Such groups exist across the state. This process should begin in earnest at the Rifle meeting scheduled for the 10th and 11th of December.

3. We note from your revised schedule published on the state’s Department of Natural Resources web page that no hearings are scheduled in any of the five cities that have voted to stop the oil industry’s invasion via either moratoria or bans. This couldn’t possibly be accidental and creates added suspicion of motive and outcome. We strongly urge, indeed we feel compelled to insist, you revise your outreach schedule to include hearings in the cities of Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, Broomfield, and Ft Collins.

Thank you for your consideration:

Be the Change
Kids Against Fracking
Earth Guardians
Mothers Project
Protect Our Loveland
Our Broomfield
Commerce City Unite Now
Pikes Peak Alliance for the Future
South Park Coalition
Small Business Coalition of Louisville
ECOGIG (Elbert County Oil and Gas Interest Group)
Weld Air and Water
Citizens for a Healthy Ft. Collins
Food and Water Watch
Fractivist.org
What the Frack?! Arapahoe
Citizens for Huerfano County
Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont
Citizens for a Healthy Community (Paonia, CO)
Frack Free Boulder
MindDrive Legal Services
Garfield Transparency Initiative
Clean Energy Action
South Denver 350.org
Front Range Food Producers and Purveyors
QuestionFracking.org

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2 Comments on “26 groups sign letter to task force”

  1. Bob Arrington Says:

    If the task force had recomendations that put a need for local controls, setbacks or anything, it would make no difference what the legislature did – pandora’s box would be open. It is stacked by the 2/3 rule to come up with nada of impact and the public is not being heard.

  2. Eric Ewing Says:

    Eric,

    Thank you so much for your coordination with the Task Force. It has come to the co-chairs’ attention that you are to party to active cases that involve Noble Energy, one of the interests who serves on the Task Force. In order to not to put a Task Force member in a position where he might have to recuse himself from important conversations of the Task Force, the co-chairs have asked us to ask you to not participate in the panel. Your videos have been submitted to the comments that the Task Force has received prior to the meeting and you are welcome to make a comment as well during public comment.

    Sarah Stokes Alexander

    Vice President, Programs

    The Keystone Center

    salexander@keystone.org

    970-513-5846

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