Quantcast
Energy

Oil and Gas Industry Buys Colorado Fracking Election

In what may have been the most expensive and farce of an election in the history of Colorado, the oil and gas industry has likely spent $1 million to buy a fracking election in the city of Loveland, CO. When the votes were tallied last night for a two-year fracking moratorium in Loveland, “no” votes squeaked out a victory by a 10,844 to 9,942 margin, getting just 52 percent of the vote.

The anti-fracking fight continues in Colorado where 53,000 active wells are splattered across the landscape and about 3,000 new wells are drilled every year, many of those in suburban neighborhoods like Loveland. Photo credit: Circle of Blue

The industry has so-far reported spending more than $375,000 on those 10,844 votes, but massive unreported spending that exploited a loophole in the Colorado campaign finance law ruled the election. As long as the industry’s ads didn’t say “vote for” or “vote against,” they didn’t have to report their spending. That resulted in a deluge of an aerial attack of TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads and inserts, and mailers that inundated voters in Loveland. Residents reported getting one and sometimes two mailers a day over the last three weeks, many including bucolic photos of pristine Colorado landscapes while hailing positive aspects of fracking.

Anti-fracking activists from a local group Protect Our Loveland spent about $7,500 trying to pass the moratorium. In the end, Protect Our Loveland was likely outspent by a 100 - 1 margin by the most profitable industry on the planet.

At the same time that the industry bought the election, it also fought fiercely to manipulate the election date and process. Anti-fracking activists in Loveland gathered the signatures and tried to place the vote on the ballot in November of 2013 at the same time that anti-fracking elections swept neighboring cities of Fort Collins, Boulder, Lafayette and Broomfield in Colorado’s “Frack Zone.” But, the oil and gas industry sued in court to get the election postponed and bullied the Loveland City Council into delaying the vote. A couple months later, a judge ruled against the industry and the city and forced the election to occur. An industry-friendly city council then cherry-picked a date—June 24—for the election that coincided with the hotly contested Republican Governor’s race in Colorado, thus ensuring a large turnout of very conservative voters.

The anti-fracking fight continues in Colorado where 53,000 active wells are splattered across the landscape and about 3,000 new wells are drilled every year, many of those in suburban neighborhoods like Loveland. But, one thing is clear: the oil and gas industry will do anything, say anything and spend anything to force fracking down the throats of citizens. If you’re involved in the fracking fights in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas or California, be forewarned—this industry is fighting for its life and you will have to fight for yours, too.

 

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Leonardo DiCaprio/Getty

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Awards $20M in Largest-Ever Portfolio of Environmental Grants

Environmental activist and Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced that his foundation has awarded $20 million to more than 100 organizations supporting environmental causes.

This is the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's (LDF) largest-ever portfolio of environmental grants to date. The organization has now offered more than $80 million in total direct financial impact since its founding in 1998.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Andrew Hart/Flickr

UN Environment Chief: Make Polluters, Not Taxpayers, Pay For Destroying Nature

Erik Solheim, the head of the United Nations' Environment Program, made an interesting point during a recent speech in New York: Companies, not taxpayers, should pay the costs of damaging the planet.

"The profit of destroying nature or polluting the planet is nearly always privatized, while the costs of polluting the planet or the cost of destroying ecosystems is nearly always socialized," Solheim said Monday, per Reuters, at the annual International Conference on Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

Keep reading... Show less
Soy was one of the key agricultural crops found to have decreased nutritional content when grown in a high C02 environment. Bigstockphoto

C02 and Food: We Can't Sacrifice Quality for Quantity

Bigger isn't always better. Too much of a good thing can be bad. Many anti-environmentalists throw these simple truths to the wind, along with caution.

You can see it in the deceitful realm of climate change denial. It's difficult to keep up with the constantly shifting—and debunked—denier arguments, but one common thread promoted by the likes of the Heartland Institute in the U.S. and its Canadian affiliate, the misnamed International Climate Science Coalition, illustrates the point. They claim carbon dioxide is good for plants, and plants are good for people, so we should aim to pump even more CO2 into the atmosphere than we already are.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular

Meet the 4 Horsemen of the EPA-pocalypse

By Mary Anne Hitt

Every week, another decision that endangers our families seems to come out of Scott Pruitt's and Donald Trump's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The latest facepalm/outrage comes in the form of confirmation hearings that start this week for four completely unacceptable nominees to critical leadership positions at EPA.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular

Trump's Pick for Top EPA Post Under Scrutiny for Deep Ties to Chemical Industry

From Scott Pruitt to Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump has notoriously appointed a slew of individuals with serious conflicts of interests with the departments they oversee.

The latest is Michael L. Dourson, Trump's pick to head the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, the government's chemical safety program. Media reports reveal that the toxicologist is under intense scrutiny for his extensive ties to the chemical industry and a resumé dotted with some of the biggest names in the field: Koch Industries Inc., Chevron Corp., Dow AgroSciences, DuPont and Monsanto.

Keep reading... Show less
Researchers warn that unchecked fossil fuel emissions would raise global temperatures to catastrophic levels. Gerry Machen / Flickr

New Study: Global Warming Limit Can Still Be Achieved

By Tim Radford

Scientists in the UK have good news for the 195 nations that pledged to limit global warming to well below 2°C: it can be done. The ideal limit of no more than 1.5°C above the average temperatures for most of human history is possible.

All it requires is an immediate reduction in the combustion of fossil fuels—a reduction that will continue for the next 40 years, until the world is driven only by renewable energy.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Hurricane-damaged Barbuda. Caribbean Community / Flickr

Devastated Island Leaders: Climate Change 'A Truth Which Hits Us'

As residents in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands prepared to take cover from Hurricane Maria, representatives of island nations devastated by hurricanes made a plea to the UN for recovery funding.

In a hastily-convened special session, leaders of Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and other nations detailed the billions of dollars needed to rebuild after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and argued that the increasing impacts of climate change on island nations required a rethinking of how the UN provides humanitarian aid.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel / Facebook

National Guard Chief Highlights Climate Change as Pruitt Touts Denial on TV

Climate change could be causing storms to become "bigger, larger, more violent," underlining the need to have a robust military response to disasters across the country, the top officer of the National Guard Bureau said Tuesday.

"I do think that the climate is changing, and I do think that it is becoming more severe," Gen. Joseph Lengyel told reporters, noting the number of severe storms that have hit the U.S. in the past month. The general might want to take U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt aside for a chat on climate change and disasters: Pruitt sat down for two friendly interviews on Fox yesterday to tout his idea for a red team/blue team "debate" on climate.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox