Coloradans Protest Fracking at Democratic Governors Assn. Meeting

This weekend in Aspen, Colorado, hundreds of protestors took to the streets outside of the Democratic Governors Association meeting—hosted by Colorado Governor Hickenlooper—to call for renewable energy and an end to fracking, rallying around the slogan “Good Governors Don’t Frack Their People.” As many Colorado communities attempt to pass regulations to ban fracking in order to protect citizens’ health and preserve the environment, Governor Hickenlooper has come under fire for ignoring and even suing local governments who are working to end fracking, making many wonder if he is a governor for the people or for the oil and gas industries.

"At this crossroads moment for Colorado we are calling on Governor Hickenlooper to direct us toward an energy future that doesn't risk our health or vital water resources,” said Allison Wolff, co-founder of Frack Free Colorado. “Billions of dollars are being spent on infrastructure to export fracked gas, while experts agree that clean, renewable energy solutions could meet 100% our power needs today."

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a procedure used to extract gas or oil from rock, but it unfortunately has many negative impacts. Every step of the fracking process is environmentally unfriendly, including the land clearing required, permanent polluting of groundwater, and methane leaking that significantly contributes to global warming. Furthermore, fracking itself is a very water intensive process, as a combination of chemicals, sand, and millions of gallons of water are injected into the ground at high pressures. The chemicals used have been proven to be toxic, carcinogenic, and endocrine-disrupting. Attempts at regulation have shown to be inconsequential due to the unsafe nature of fracking, as well as federal exemptions and aggressive lobbying.

At the Democratic Governors Association meeting, organizers hoped to discuss these concerns with Hickenlooper, and to encourage a moratorium on fracking until it is determined safe. Hickenlooper became flustered when asked more specific and detailed questions about the process, leaving protestors unconvinced.

Earth Day Network commends the people of Colorado for speaking out to protect the wellbeing of their communities, and for holding their elected officials accountable.