The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Colorado Anti-Fracking Initiatives Fail to Make November Ballot
By Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking
Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking was informed today that not enough signatures were validated by the Colorado Secretary of State's office to place Initiatives 75 & 78 on the November ballot. At this time, Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking is reviewing the ruling and the disallowed signatures to determine whether to file a challenge.
"As we review the ruling, we want to assure our volunteers and supporters that we are as committed as ever to giving the residents of Colorado a say this November on whether their communities can regulate fracking," said Tricia Olson, executive director of Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking.
"That fracking is dangerous to the health and safety of the state's residents resonated loudly in every corner of the state. Today's announcement is not the final action on this issue as countless residents are now committed to protecting their children's schools, parks and homes."
On Aug. 8 more than 200,000 signatures were turned over to the Colorado Secretary of State to be counted and authenticated.Greenpeace / Bob Pearson
Yes to Health and Safety Over Fracking faced an unprecedented $15 million anti-signature campaign funded by the oil and gas industry. The Decline to Sign campaign was highlighted by intimidation tactics to scare voters from signing petitions and punctuated by a disinformation effort that saw radio and television ads designed to confuse voters about the Initiatives.
In addition, recent polling conducted by Ciruli Associates for the CO Water Conservation Board indicated that Coloradans support Initiative 78 by a wide margin, with 57 percent in favor, 30 percent against and 13 percent undecided.
"We will not be cowed by the anti-democratic efforts of the oil and gas industry," Suzanne Spiegel of Frack Free Colorado said.
"The 'Decline to Sign' campaign only served to highlight the industry's stranglehold on the state government. The actions of the industry have only served to galvanize supporters and we intend to fight the destructive and dangerous fracking practices that harm our health and destroy our environment."
Initiative #75, Local Governmental Control of Oil and Gas Development, would recognize that oil and gas development should be subject to local jurisdiction like every other industry. The measure would give local governments a wide range of options to protect their communities and neighborhoods from the harms associated with oil and gas development, including fracking.
Initiative #78, Mandatory Setbacks from Oil and Gas Development, would establish a buffer zone of 2,500' (less than ½ mile) between new oil and gas development and homes, hospitals, schools and sensitive areas like playgrounds and drinking water sources. A 2,500' setback takes its basis from health studies showing elevated health risk to human health within ½ mile of "fracked" wells. It also takes into account the perimeters needed for explosion, evacuation, and burn zones.
"Despite the countless hours and the thousands of Coloradans who spoke in support of protecting the health and safety of Colorado communities, the movement faced an unprecedented flow of money from the oil and gas opposition," said Diana Best, Greenpeace USA climate and energy campaigner, based in Denver. "We may be disappointed today, but tomorrow we get back to work empowering communities and keeping fossil fuels in the ground. This fight is far from over."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Return of a Relative: Tribal Communities in the Northern Great Plains Rally Around Bison Restoration
By Clay Bolt
On Oct. 11 people around the world celebrated the release of four plains bison onto a snow-covered butte in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.
The climate crisis has put at least 945 designated toxic waste sites at severe risk of disaster from escalating wildfires, floods, rising seas and other climate-related disasters, according to a new study from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), as the AP reported.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
For one year Rob Greenfield grew and foraged all of his own food. No grocery stores, no restaurants, no going to a bar for a drink, not even medicines from the pharmacy.
Apple has removed all 181 vaping-related apps from its App Store, the company announced on Friday. The removal of the apps comes after thousands of people across the country have developed lung illnesses from vaping and 42 people have died.