Quantcast

Colorado’s Bully Governor Says He Will Sue Fort Collins to Overturn Fracking Ban

Energy

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

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.

Gary Wockner, PhD, represents Clean Water Action and Waterkeeper Alliance in Colorado. He lives in Fort Collins—Gary@GaryWockner.com.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Large food companies are following in the footsteps of fast-food restaurants such as Burger King and KFC by offering meat alternatives. Getty Images

By Elizabeth Pratt

  • Hormel, Kellogg's, and Kroger are among the large companies now planning to offer "fake meat" products at grocery stores.
  • Experts say the trend toward plant-based meats coincides with consumers' desires to eat less meat.
  • However, experts urge consumers to closely check package labels as a product isn't necessarily healthy just because it's described as plant-based.

In grocery stores and fast-food outlets around the U.S., a revolution is taking place.

Read More Show Less
Colombia rainforest. Marcel Oosterwijk / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Torsten Krause

Many of us think of the Amazon as an untouched wilderness, but people have been thriving in these diverse environments for millennia. Due to this long history, the knowledge that Indigenous and forest communities pass between generations about plants, animals and forest ecology is incredibly rich and detailed and easily dwarfs that of any expert.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
picture-alliance / Newscom / R. Ben Ari

By Wesley Rahn

Plastic byproducts were found in 97 percent of blood and urine samples from 2,500 children tested between 2014 and 2017, according to a study by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, MS, NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS

Written by James Roland

Hot yoga has become a popular exercise in recent years. It offers many of the same benefits as traditional yoga, such as stress reduction, improved strength, and flexibility.

Read More Show Less
Lara Hata / iStock / Getty Images

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Rice is a staple in many people's diets. It's filling, inexpensive, and a great mild-tasting addition to flavorful dishes.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Hinterhaus Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Lindsay Campbell

From pastries to plant-based—we've got you covered.

Read More Show Less
An image of the trans-alaskan oil pipeline that carries oil from the northern part of Alaska all the way to valdez. This shot is right near the arctic national wildlife refuge. kyletperry / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The Trump administration has initialized the final steps to open up nearly 1.6 million acres of the protected Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to allow oil and gas drilling.

Read More Show Less
Westend61 / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Vegetarianism has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Read More Show Less