License to Poison Water & Air Up for Vote

On November 27 Colorado Springs City Council is scheduled to give the oil and gas industry permission to poison our water and air. I’m hopeful this council will stand up for our community’s right to have clean air and safe water. I’m concerned, however, because council is being pressured by special interests to approve inadequate regulation.

The drilling industry has infiltrated the state body that’s supposed to regulate it. It has coached state and local officials in drafting rules that will NOT protect our families from the toxic byproducts of drilling, fracking and production.

It’s tempting these days to embrace any activity that promises jobs or tax revenue. But sometimes the risks outweigh the rewards. The more I research fracking, the more convinced I become that this is a dirty, risky business. It is irresponsible anywhere, but particularly inside a city.

I attended a pro-fracking rally in Denver last week to see what proponents of lax regulation had to say. The only good claim they made was, “Wow, look at all the money we can make.” No scientists or researchers were on hand to factually defend the practice. The evidence continues to mount that this technology is not safe.

Allowing fracking in our city is reckless, dangerous and shortsighted. Our council has been told we cannot legally prohibit fracking. We will eventually find that to be false, but only if we try. We can fix that legal ambiguity. For now an easy and smart solution is to allow fracking, but only the guaranteed, ironclad, non-polluting, non-toxic variety. If and when the industry figures out how to do that (actually doing it safely, not just providing deceptive talking points), THEN they can exercise their right to tap that oil and gas.

The oil and gas industry’s subsurface mineral rights do NOT trump the rights of our children to breathe clean air. The desire for cheap gas does NOT supersede our right to have no toxic chemicals pumped into the ground and water beneath us.

Every citizen of the Colorado Springs area needs to be in City Council Chambers the afternoon of November 27 to let our elected representatives know we have their back if they will stand up for our health and safety. If you cannot attend, call or write them.

Join a rally in front of city hall at noon. The council meeting begins at 1:30 but the "Toxify Our Town Act" is not near the top of the agenda.

For more information about this issue and upcoming educational events, I recommend you visit www.frackfreesprings.org

You can also become better informed by attending the Truth About Fracking Film Fest on Dec. 8, 1-5 pm in the Max Kade Theater, Rm. 300 of Armstrong Hall at Colorado College (corner of Cache La Poudre and Cascade). It's free. See www.facebook.com/events/534770479884379/ for more info, to RSVP, and to invite friends on Facebook.

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Tags: Colorado, Springs, city, council, drilling, environment, fracking, fracturing, gas, hydraulic, More…oil, water

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