The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Colorado’s Bully Governor Says He Will Sue Fort Collins to Overturn Fracking Ban
In a precedent setting vote, last week the Fort Collins City Council voted to ban fracking in Fort Collins city limits. The very next morning, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association—the industry trade group representing oil and gas companies—issued a statement saying they would sue Fort Collins to overturn the ban.
Now seven days later in a televised interview, the Democratic Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, also says he will direct the State of Colorado to sue Fort Collins to overturn the ban.On March 5, the council must have a second reading of the ordinance in order for it to become law. The vote on the first reading was 5 - 2 in support of the ban. At the first reading, nearly sixty citizens spoke in favor of the ban and a few groups provided signatures from more than a thousand citizens who also supports the ban.
Gov. Hickenlooper recently made national news by testifying at a U.S. Senate committee hearing that he drank Halliburton's fracking fluid, proving that it was safe. In a televised statement yesterday, he said, “We've demonstrated again and again [fracking] can be done safely."
The partisan divide over drilling and fracking continues to break down in Colorado. Hickenlooper, a Democrat and former oilman, is one of the state's leading proponents for drilling and fracking, offering himself up as a spokesperson and salesman for the industry. At the local government level, a few Republican's have split off. Fort Collins' Mayor, Karen Weitkunat, a popular Republican, voted for the fracking ban, saying it protects the public's health and property, and aligns with local government rule.
Tensions continue to mount in Fort Collins over the ban. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association apologized and tried to retract a fraudulent petition they inserted into the public process at the vote last week on first reading. The petition—allegedly signed by 55 local businesses—was later found to be fraudulent and several of the businesses have since requested to have their names removed.
The big question for March 5, on second reading of the ordinance, is whether the richest industry on the planet, backed by their oilman Governor, can bully the Fort Collins City Council to get the initial vote overturned so that the people of Fort Collins will then be forcefully exposed to cancer-causing fracking chemicals. If that happens, it will be a sad and sick day for democracy in Fort Collins and America.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.