Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Democrat Jared Polis Pulls Anti-Fracking Initiatives at Last Minute from Colorado Ballot

Energy

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who was prepared to turn in more than 200,000 signatures today in support of two ballot measures that sought to provide far greater local control of Colorado's fracking industry, instead announced at a press conference Monday that he pulled the controversial initiatives from Colorado's November ballot.

Rep. Polis negotiated with Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper and "reached an agreement over the weekend to stand down on the initiatives and allow a broader stakeholder process to take place."

The initiatives would have forced fracking wells to be 2,000 feet from schools, hospitals and other community facilities, and established an environmental bill of rights allowing local governments precedence when laws conflict with the state. In exchange for pulling the controversial ballot measures, a commission will be set up to analyze whatever problems might exist.

"We are disappointed that Colorado’s environmental rights ballot initiative that would have allowed local governments to protect their citizens from the potential harms of oil and gas drilling has been withdrawn," said Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project director Bruce Baizel.

"Colorado’s oil and gas oversight favors the oil and gas industry’s interests before the public interest. That’s why hundreds of thousands of Coloradoans backed ballot initiatives to fundamentally change oil and gas regulation for the better this November."

The fracking commission announced today by Governor Hickenlooper and Representative Polis provides a possibility that Colorado’s community and environment may yet be protected from the environmental and health threats associated with oil and gas development. Impacted communities must have a real seat at the table, and must be allowed to determine that in some cases no fracking may be the right choice."

According to Colorado's KDVR News, Polis negotiated with Hickenlooper and "reached an agreement over the weekend to stand down on the initiatives and allow a broader stakeholder process to take place."

"This hollow compromise may remove fracking from the state ballot this November, but it doesn't solve any problems," said Sam Schabacker, western region director with Food & Water Watch. "It creates an unelected task force and guarantees that concern among voters about fracking will continue to escalate, and that fracking will continue to be a significant statewide issue our officials must address."

According to The Hill, the measures created a rift among Colorado Democrats in recent months and threatened to hurt Sen. Mark Udall and Gov. John Hickenlooper in their reelection bids. 

You Might Also Like

Fracking Waste Puts Americans’ Drinking Water at Risk

Fracking Makes California’s Drought Worse

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

More than 1,000 people were told to evacuate their homes when a wildfire ignited in the foothills west of Denver Monday, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Read More Show Less

Accessibility to quality health care has dropped for millions of Americans who lost their health insurance due to unemployment. mixetto / E+ / Getty Images

Accessibility to quality health care has dropped for millions of Americans who lost their health insurance due to unemployment. New research has found that 5.4 million Americans were dropped from their insurance between February and May of this year. In that three-month stretch more Americans lost their coverage than have lost coverage in any entire year, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
Heat waves are most dangerous for older people and those with health problems. Global Jet / Flickr / CC by 2.0

On hot days in New York City, residents swelter when they're outside and in their homes. The heat is not just uncomfortable. It can be fatal.

Read More Show Less
Nearly 250 U.S. oil and gas companies are expected to file for bankruptcy by the end of next year. Joshua Doubek / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

Fracking companies are going bankrupt at a rapid pace, often with taxpayer-funded bonuses for executives, leaving harm for communities, taxpayers, and workers, the New York Time reports.

Read More Show Less
Trump introduces EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler during an event to announce changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Jan. 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. The changes would make it easier for federal agencies to approve infrastructure projects without considering climate change. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A report scheduled for release later Tuesday by Congress' non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that the Trump administration undervalues the costs of the climate crisis in order to push deregulation and rollbacks of environmental protections, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA), and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, voiced support for safe reopening measures. www.vperemen.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA

By Kristen Fischer

It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Critics charge the legislation induces poor communities to sell off their water rights. Pexels

By Eoin Higgins

Over 300 groups on Monday urged Senate leadership to reject a bill currently under consideration that would incentivize communities to sell off their public water supplies to private companies for pennies on the dollar.

Read More Show Less